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Cornell University Library 

DC 137.5.L21B54 1901 

Madame de Lamballe 

924 024 292 504 

Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 




^~i y0^r-4 

Madame de Lamballe 



Translated into English by 


With Portrait, an Introduction and Historical Notes 
by the Translator 


1 90 1 


Copyright, 1901, by 
Godfrey A. S. Wieners 

All Rights Reserved 


Introductory Note 

In offering to the public an English version of Mon- 
sieur Georges Bertin's " Madame de Lamballe," I 
feel that the title alone will arouse interest. 

The life of Madame de Lamballe is well known. 
The story of her intimacy with Marie Antoinette, and 
of her unceasing devotion to the royal family, is one of 
the most interesting and pathetic chapters in the history 
of the French Revolution. 

The present volume is largely made up of unpub- 
lished documents and of articles taken from the news- 
papers of that day. The French, therefore, from a 
literary standpoint, is often open to criticism. Al- 
though I have kept as closely as possible to the orig- 
inal, I have been obliged, in some places, to deviate 
slightly, in order to conform to the English idiom. 

For historical references I have consulted Taine's 
" Ancien Regime," Morris's "French Revolution," 
Carlyle's "French Revolution," Guizot's "History 
of France," Madame de Campan, and "Secret Memoirs 


of the Royal Family of France," first published from 
the journal, letters, and conversations of the Princesse 
de Lamballe, and brought out in Philadelphia in 1826. 
I should like to avail myself of this opportunity to 
extend my thanks for the valuable suggestions made to 
me in regard to the present work, as well as for the 
gift of the accompanying illustration. 

Arabella Ward. 
June, 1901. 


Table of Contents 



Nangis. — Preparations of the inhabitants. — Arrival of the 
Due de Penthi^vre and his suite. — Interview at Montereau. — 
The Due de Penthievre. — Presentations. — Entrance into Nan- 
gis. — Celebration of the marriage by the Cardinal de Luynes. 
— Sojourn at the Chateau of Nangis. — Motives of the Due de 
Penthievre for marrying the Prince de Lamballe. — Dowry of 
Mademoiselle de Carignan. — Marriage contract. — Monsieur de 
Choiseul. — Voyage of Mademoiselle de Carignan. — Supper in 
the Hotel de Toulouse. — Marriage ode. — Presentation of 
Madame de Lamballe ........ 3 


Portrait of Madame de Lamballe. — Hope of the Due de Pen- 
thievre. — Letter from Lamoignon. — Representation of the 
" Gouvernante. " — Presentation of the Comte Mniszek. — Re- 
view on the Plain of Marly. — Change in the conduct of the 
prince. — Mademoiselle de la Chassaigne. — Grief of the Due de 
Penthievre. — The prince falls ill. — He sells his wife's diamonds. 
— Despair of Madame de Lamballe. — She is seized with nervous 
attacks. — Pittara. — The prince escapes from the Hotel de Tou- 
louse. — The Due de Penthievre brings him back. — The prince 
in the home of M. de Wargemont, Chaussee d'Antin. — Search 
of the Due de Penthievre. — The prince in a deplorable condi- 
tion. — He is taken to Luciennes. — His death. — Funeral. — 




Rosalie of the Opera. — Poor health of the princess. — What 
Lauzun says in his " Memoires." — Plombi^res. — Journey to 
Nancy. — Toul. — Homage to the princess by " L' Histoire de 
Lorraine.'' — Return to court. — Increased favor shown Madame 
de Polignac. — Jealousy of Madame de Lamballe. — Manoeuvres 
of Madame de Polignac. — JDifficulties in etiquette obviated by 
Madame de Lamballe 51 


Arrival of the Due and Duchesse des Deux-Ponts. — Recep- 
tion and visits. — The queen sups at Madame de Lamballe's.— 
Importunities of the princess. — Easter. — Arrival in Paris of 
Joseph II. — Adventure of the carriages. — Account by Bachau- 
mont. — Letter of Joseph II. to Mercy-Argenteau. — Dinner at 
the Trianon. — Madame de Lamballe displeases him. — The 
Princesse de Conti, the Princesse de Lamballe, and the Due de 
Penthi^vre pay their respects to Joseph II. — Visit at Sceaux. — 
Adieu of the emperor. — Nervous attack of the queen. — Madame 
de Lamballe at Plombi^res. — Fontainebleau. — The queen 
spends her days at Madame de Polignac's. — Public opinion. — 
"La Grammaire des Dames," by the Chevalier de Prunay. — 
" Les quatre Heures de la Toilette des Dames." — Card-playing 
at the queen's and at Madame de Lamballe's. — The queen 
obliged to establish harmony between Madame de Polignac and 
the princess. — Ball at the Opera. — The Comte d'Artois. — The 
friends of the princess urge her to give balls. — Opinion of 
Mercy-Argenteau on the superintendent. — Triumph of Madame 
de Polignac. — The Choiseul party. — Madame de Lamballe's 
trip to Holland. — Error of Madame de Genlis. — Conflict be- 
tween the superintendent and the Abbe de Vermond. — The 
princess merely tolerated. — Resignation offered.— Illness of 
Madame de Polignac. — Madame de Lamballe attempts to win 
back the favor of the queen. — Death of the mother and the 
father of Madame de Lamballe. — Letter from Marie Antoinette. 
— Mourning of the court. — Lines on the queen. — The Prin- 
cesse Marie-Ther^se Charlotte. — Queen attacked by measles. 



— Madame de Polignac. — Visit to the Rue de Bourbon, Paris. — 
Communion. — Madame de Polignac at Spa. — Madame de Lam- 
balle at Bourbon. — Decreasing favor of Madame de Lamballe. 
— Increasing favor of Madame de Polignac. — Complaints of 
the princess. — Accusations against the princess . . .67 


Visit of the Due and the Duchesse de Chartres, of the Du- 
chesse de Bourbon, and of the Princesse de Lamballe to the Loge 
de la Candeur. — Discourse. — Harmony of the lodge. — Verses. 
— Dialogue between a M. and a proselyte. — Toasts and canti- 
cles of the Order of Adoption. — Amusements. — Representation 
of " L'Ami de la Maison." — Ball. — Different signatures. — 
French Masonry. — Madame de Lamballe at their ceremonies. — 
Founding of the Loges d' Adoption about the middle of the 
eighteenth century. — The Grand Orient takes them under its 
protection. — The Masonry of Adoption. — General rules. — Model 
of a certificate. — Quests and great works. — Fires. — Three poor 
young girls married. — The children of Masons taken into ap- 
prenticeship. — The Mother Lodge assumes the education of all 
male children from the Parish of Saint Eustache born the same 
day as the dauphin. — Banquet. — The Princesse de Lamballe 
elected January 10, 17S1, Grand Mistress of all the regular 
Loges Ecossaises of France. — Minutes. — Changes of the Loge 
of the Contrat Social. — The Chevalier de Bourbon. — The 
Abbe Bertolio. — A rare pamphlet 83 


Trouble of the superintendent. — Mizet and Joseph Loques. 
■ — Letter to Madame de Guebriant. — Calumnies. — Letter from 
Monsieur de Paulmy. — Madame de Lamballe decides to go to 
Marly. — The queen and Madame de Polignac. — Card-playing. 
— Useless efforts of Madame de Lamballe to win back the 
queen's favor. — Marie Antoinette goes once a week to Paris to 
see Madame de Polignac. — Indifference to Madame de Lam- 



balle. — Marriage at Saint Malo. — The prince recalled to Turin. 
— His union annulled in 1780 again celebrated in 1781. — 
Madame de Polignac has wholly replaced Madame de Lamballe 
in the queen's affection. — Madame de Polignac. — La Muette. — 
Marly. — Inconsistency of the queen. — Visits to Madame de 
Polignac. — Return to court. — Comedy at Trianon. — Claims. — 
Admission refused Madame de Lamballe. — The Comte de Poli- 
gnac elected hereditary duke. — The queen at Claye. — Trip to 
Fontainebleau. — Death of the Prince Victor Ame'dee de Savoie- 
Carignan. — Visit of the queen to Madame de Lamballe. — 
Death of Marie-Therese. — Abbe de Vermond. — Mesdames de 
Lamballe and de Polignac. — Annuity of forty thousand livres 
to the princess. — Conditions of the rules of ready-money. — 
Greed of the Polignacs. — Duchesse de Gramont. — Succession 
of the Due de Villeroy-Maurepas. — Due de Lorges. — Marriage 
of Mademoiselle de Polignac with the Due de Guiche. — Diary 
of Louis XVI. — Confinement of the queen. — A dauphin. . 103 


Madame de Lamballe sponsor. — Ball to the royal family. — 
Marriage of Mademoiselle d'Amblimont to the Comte de Lage 
de Volude. — Presentation of the young comtesse at court. — 
Fetes by the city of Paris. — Madame de Lamballe attends 
all ceremonies. — Departure of the queen from La Muette. — 
Visits to Notre Dame, Sainte Genevieve, and at the Hotel 
de Ville. — Supper at the Temple. — Ball at the Hotel de 
Ville. — Ball given by the Body-guard in the Opera House 
at] Versailles. — Measles attacks the Duchesse de Chartres. — 
Death of Mademoiselle d'Olreans. — Journey of the Comte and 
the Comtesse du Nord. — Visit to the Trianon. — Chantilly. — 
Choisy. — Sceaux. — "Memoires" of the Baronne d'Oberkirch. 
— Reception to the Comte and Comtesse du Nord. — Collation. 
— Drive. — Ball at Versailles. — Opinion of the Baronne d'Ober- 
kirch. — Supper at the princess's. — Death of Louis Samuel de 
Tascher. — Florian. — Garat. — At the Abbe Espagnac's. — 
Madame de Gilibert. — Verses. — Description of the f^te at the 



Invalides. — Baptism of the daughter of the Comtesse de Lage 
de Volude. — Purchase of the house at Passy. — The princess 
returns to the Due de Penthievre. — Portrait of the duke by 
Bachaumont. — Opinion of the Comtesse de Lage de Volude. 
— The Due de Penthi^vre's mode of life. — Verses of Cou- 
langes. — Belle-Chasse. — Anecdote by Grimme, , , . ii8 


The king buys Rambouillet. — Reply to Turgot. — Pamphlets 
on the court customs. — Approach of Easter. — The Bishop of 
Saint Papoul. — Visits of the Baronne d' Oberkirch to Madame 
de Lamballe. — The King of Sweden in Paris ; also Prince 
Henry of Prussia. — Visits to the Due de Penthievre and to 
Madame de Lamballe. — Presentation of Monsieur de Fersheim 
to the duke. — Chevalier du Authiers and Monsieur de Las 
Cases. — The Princesse de Conti, the Duchesse de Chartres, 
and the Princesse de Lamballe call on the King of Sweden. — 
Visit to the Due de Penthievre. — Comte de Haga. — The Du- 
chesse de Bourbon and Madame de Lamballe in their apart- 
ments. — Balloon ascent at Versailles. — Chateauvillain. — Verses 
by Florian in honor of the princess. — Fire in the Hotel de Tou- 
louse. — Purchase of the Hotel Louvois. — Due de Normandie. 
— Madame de Lamballe at Deslon's. — The great pill-doctor of 
France. — Fetes in Paris on the birth of the Due de Normandie. 
— The queen sups with the superintendent and attends the 
Comedie Italienne. — Death of the Comte de Villefranche . 132 


The Affair of the Necklace. — Arrest of Cardinal de Rohan 
at Versailles. — Madame de la Motte imprisoned. — The queen an 
object of hatred. — Baptism of the Due d'Angouleme. — Absence 
of the Princesse de Lamballe. — Letter from Marie Antoinette 
to the princess. — The queen sups at the superintendent's. — 
The Polignacs. — Dismissal of the duke. — Birth of the Prin- 

. xiii 



cesse Hel^ne Beatrix Sophie. — Princesse de Chimay. — Diary 
of the Due de Penthi^vre. — Arrival in Paris of the Archiduc 
Ferdinand and of his wife Marie Beatrix d'Este. — Supper of 
the Princesse de Conti. — Visit of Madame de Lamballe to the 
Archiduc and the Archiduchesse. — Presentation of the Com- 
tesse de Faucigny. — Bois-Robin. — Account of Bachaumont. — 
Assembly of the Notables. — Meeting of Parliament. — Agita- 
tion. — Madame de Lamballe absent from court. — Goes to Eng- 
land. — Morning call of the queen on Madame de Lamballe. — 
Negotiations with Monsieur de Calonne for the destruction of 
certain documents. — Absence of the princess caused by ill- 
health. — Madame de Polignac presents her resignation. — The 
queen at Trianon. — Exile of the princes of the blood. — Villers- 
Cotterets. — Madame de Lamballe at the queen's reception. — 
Protection of Florian. — The queen at the play. — Madame de 
Lamballe accompanies the queen to service. — The Bishop of 
Laon. — Baptism of the Dues de Chartres and de Montpensier. 
— Reception to Florian. — Succession of the Abbe Millot. — 
Death of the Cardinal de Luynes. — The chair of the Archbishop 
of Sens. — Address of Florian. — Journeys of a princess. — Fonte- 
vrault. — Honors rendered by the regiment. — Dinner at the 
archbishop's .......... 146 


Debut of Mademoiselle Charlotte la Chassaigne. — Ill-health 
of the Due de Penthi^vre. — The queen at service. — Troubled 
times. — At the Petits Carraes. — The Nobility and the Third 
Estate. — States-General. — Attitude of the queen. — Comtesse de 
Lage. — Dauphin's illness. — Opinion of the doctors. — Death of 
Louis Joseph Xavier Fran9ois, dauphin of France. — Lamballe 
at Meudon. — Lying in state of the body. — The Due de Nor- 
mandie, dauphin. — Taking of the Bastille. — Letter from the 
Due de Penthievre. — The princess in Switzerland. — " Memoires 
de Fortaire." — Lamballe at Aumale, and at Eu. — Departure of 
the Comte and the Comtesse d'Artois. — Madame de Polignac 
offers her resignation as governess of the Children of France. — 



The queen undertakes their education. — Second resignation 
accepted. — Madame de Tourzel. — Lamballe comes to the royal 
family. — Return of the king and his family to the Tuileries. — 
Madame de Lamballe in Paris. — Contrast between her past and 
present character. — Marie Antoinette at the Trianon. — Louis 
XVL hunts. — Letter from the king, the queen, and Madame 
Elisabeth to Madame de Lamballe 162 


The royal family at the Tuileries. — Arrival of Madame de 
Lamballe. — Humiliation of the royal family. — Madame de Lam- 
balle in the Pavilion de Flore. — Letter from the queen. — The 
Children of France. — Treasury exhausted. — Decrees of Parlia- 
ment. — Patriotic gifts. — The Due de Penthievre sends his plate 
to the mint. — Poisoning of the princess. — Princess wants to 
rent Passy furnished. — Salary of the surgeon. — The " Courrier 
Fran9ais." — Repairs at Passy. — The Due de Penthievre at Am- 
boise. — Letter to the Cardinal de Bernis. — Letter from the 
queen to Madame de Lamballe. — The king hunts. — Diary of 
the king. — Visit to the Hotel de Ville. — Madame de Lamballe 
returns to Paris. — Receptions. — Death of the queen's brother. 
— The Due de Penthievre at Fontevault. — Visit of the princess 
to Clermont. — Reception of the Tourangeaux. — Return to Am- 
boise. — Private life of the Due d'Orleans. — Separation of his 
money from that of his wife's. — Letter from the Duchesse d'Or- 
leans the day following the September massacres. — Measures 
taken by the friends of Lamballe 175 


First months of 1791. — The Tuileries. — Restlessness of the 
people. — Fears at the chateau. — Arrival of the Duchesse d'Or- 
le'ans at Eu. — The Parisians at Bellevue, etc. — King ill in 
March. — Death of Mirabeau. — Vicq d'Azyr and Cabanis. — 
Vote of the clergy. — The king tries to go to Saint Cloud. — 



Stopped by the soldiers.— Plans for flight.— La Fayette.— The 
troops not warned.— Return to their quarters. — Madame de 
Lamballe's ignorance of the flight.— Farewell of the queen. 
—Preparations.— Arrival at Aumale.— Details by Fortaire.— 
Farewell of Madame de Lamballe. — Orders of the Due de 
Penthi^vre to start for Eu. — At Boulogne. — At sea. — M. de 
Fersen. — Comphausbad. — Comte de Ginestous. — Return of 
the royal family to Paris. — Accusation of Carra. — Advice 
of friends.— Advice of Madame de Lage de Volude. — Cor- 
respondence of the comtesse. — Life of Lamballe abroad. — 
The emigres. — Amusements. — Suffering of the princess. — Her 
constant thought of the Tuileries. — Correspondence between 
Marie Antoinette and Madame de Lamballe. — Louis XVI. 's 
promise. — Dauphin. — Journey to Spa. — Conference with the 
King of Sweden ^9^ 


Spa.— The " Lion Noir." — The Comte de Haga. — Society 
at Spa. — Return to Aix. — Dinner to the King of Sweden. — 
Souvenirs of the Comte de Las Cases. — Offers of the King of 
Italy. — Madame de Lamballe suddenly decides to return to 
France. — Appreciation of Madame de Tourzel. — Fortaire. — 
Madame de Lamballe's departure. — Journey. — Return to Paris. 
— Reception of Lamballe. — Anet. — Ill-health of the Due de 
Penthi^vre. — His correspondence with the Cardinal de Bernis. 
— Federation. — Decree of June 19th. — Bamave and Lameth. — 
The due and his parish of Saint Eustache. — Coat-of-arms torn 
from the church. — At Eu. — Schism. — Orders of Holy Spirit 
and the Golden Fleece. — Madame de Lamballe's reception at 
court. — King's reply. — Queen's reply 208 


The princess opens her salon. — M. d'Amblimont sups at the 
princess's. — Receptions, etc. — Picture of the court. — Madame 
Elisabeth. — King and queen. — Queen's letter to the Duchesse 




de Polignac. — Spies. — Petion. — Opinion of Madame de Tour- 
zel. — Anxiety of Madame de Lamballe. — Death of Emperor 
Leopold. — Order for the arrest of Delessart. — The princess 
writes to M. de Breteuil. — Plan of putting queen in convent. — 
Queen's fear. — The Austrian committee. — Orators of the Palais 
Royal, etc. — Bertrand de MoUeville. — Carra, etc. — Meeting of 
May 23d. — Speech of Chabot. — Madame de Lamballe still in 
Paris. — Condition of the duke. — His mode of life. — Letters to 
the Cardinal de Bernis. — Reception of bishops, aristocrats, 
horses, and baggage of the Comte d'Artois. — Intervention of 
the municipal officers of Houdan — Assassination of the King 
of Sweden. — Death of the Comte de Dillon. — Unexpected ad- 
venture of the duke's surgeon. — The Comtesse de Joinville. — 
Weakness of the duke. — Tree of Liberty .... 226 


Conflict between the king and the Assembly. — Decree for the 
deportation of priests, etc. — The Tuileries invaded. — The 
dauphin. — Courage of Madame de Lamballe. — Petion. — Roe- 
derer. — Petion and Manuel suspended. — The Mayor of Paris 
restored to office. — Fete of the Federation. — The king and the 
royal family at the Champs-de-Mars. — Merlin, Chabot, and 
other patriots murdered. — Arms in the cellars of the chateau. 
— The king contemplates flight. — The people wish to attack 
the Tuileries. — Camp around the chateau. — The battalions of 
the National Guard hasten to the protection of the king. — The 
faubourgs in arms. — Preparations for defence at the chateau. 
— Princesse de Lamballe, Madame de Lage de Volude, and the 
Comtesse de Ginestous. — Arrival of the Marseillais. — Con- 
demnation of Girard. — The Comtesse de Lage in Paris. — Visit 
of the princess. — Situation of the royal family and the princess. 
— The king resolved to oppose with arms any attack on his 
house. — Scepticism of Madame de Lage de Volude. — Madame 
de Lage de Volude leaves Paris. — Agitation in the faubourgs. 
— The Tuileries about to be attacked. — The Swiss from Cour- 
bevoie and Rueil. — Officers and soldiers passing through Paris. 
— The tocsin sounds. — Impressions at the chateau. — Assas- 




sination of Mandat. — The princess spends the night with the 
royal family. — Dejection of Madame de Lamballe. — Review. — 
Exhortation of the queen. — Colonel Pfyffer. — King seeks refuge 
in the Assembly, — Deputy from the National Guard. — " If the 
king goes to the Assembly he is lost." — The National Guard 
of the chateau makes common cause with the battalions from 
the faubourgs. — The secretary's box. — Madame de Lamballe 
has a nervous attack. — Is carried to the Feuillants. — Sounds 
of cannon, groans, and cries. — Decree of the Assembly. — The 
royal family at the Feuillants. — Nomination of commissioners. 
— Attitude of the king and the queen. — Grief of Marie 
Antoinette. — The Luxembourg. — Manuel. — Transfer to the 
Temple. — Illuminations. — Installation. — Madame de Lam- 
balle separated from the other prisoners. — Discussion in the 
Commune. — Madame de Lamballe arrested. — Arrival of an 
officer to remove Madame de Tourzel to the Commune. — 
The queen and Madame de Lamballe. — Heart-breaking 
parting. — " If we are not fortunate enough to see each 
other again, take care of Madame de Lamballe " . . . 243 


The lower rooms of the Temple. — The Hotel de Ville. — 
Examination. — Billaud-Varennes. — The princess examined at 
three o'clock in the morning. — Shall the prisoners be taken back 
to the Temple ? — La Force. — Madame de Lamballe's state of 
mind. — Grief of Madame de Tourzel. — Her daughter Pauline. 
— Care of the room, work, and reading. — Plan for a new mode 
of life. — Account in the " Moniteur." — Seals will be put on 
the papers. — Smuggled letters. — Uncertainty at La Force. — 
Visit of Manuel. — A letter from the Due de Penthi^vre. — The 
prisoners may write and receive letters. — Order for the 
prisoners to walk in the courtyard. — Colonges. — Health of 
Madame de Lamballe. — Arrival of the hostile army. — De- 
parture of Pauline. — Madame de Lamballe's sympathy. — 
Madame de Tourzel's " Memoires." — Madame de Lamballe 
burns her letters. — Six armed guests. —Princess climbs to 
the window ledge.— Is aimed at. — Calm within the court- 



yard. — Madame de Tourzel refuses to leave the princess. — 
The courtyard. — Cowardly and insulting mockery of the 
princess. — Farewell scene. — In the registrar's office. — The 
tribunal. — Declaration of the princess. — Called on to swear 
Liberty, Equality, etc. — Order to take the princess to the 
Abbaye. — Cries of death. — They drag away Madame de Lam- 
balle. — Blow from a sword. — She is seized by the arms. — 
Murderers. — Contradictory reports of historians. — The head 
of the princess at a wine merchant's. — The head carried to 
the Temple on the end of a pike. — Council at the Temple. 
— Commissioners. — Plans of defence. — National Guard line 
up without arms. — Tri-colored scarf. — The crowd ha- 
rangued. — Marie Antoinette must come to the window. — The 
commissioners throw themselves before the first gate of the 
Tower. — " To the Palais Royal ! " — Commissioners from the 
Assembly. — Petion. — The royal family sent to a rear room. — 
Santerre .,..,,,.... 262 


Accounts of some historians. — Madame de Lamballe's body 
taken to the District of the Quinze-Vingts. — Trial concerning 
the removal of the body. — Second trial about the head. — Marie 
Antoinette's ring. — Opinions of the newspapers. — Ideas of the 
horrors committed in Paris, etc. — The Comte de Fersen. — 
Circular of the Vigilance Committee of the Commune. — Dan- 
ton. — Desforges. — A document bearing his name on the mar- 
gin. — The circular is the work of Marat. — Billaud-Varennes 
harangues the murderers. — Note from Maillard. — Panis in- 
formed of the plans of the murderers. — Address of the National 
Assembly. — Reaction. — Address of the Mayor of Paris to the 
Assembly. — Exhortations of Petion to the Parisians. — Letter 
from Rallaud to the president of the Convention. — Sent back 
to the Committee of Six. — The decree promulgated. — The 

Convention retracts. — New decree 280 





Reaction and judgment of the September massacres. — Ad- 
dresses from the districts of the Fraternite and of the Unite. — 
Account of the Citizen Franconville. — Decree of the Committee 
of General Safety of the Convention. — Seventeen citizens sent 
to the Criminal Tribunal of Paris as instigators of the 
massacres of September. — Motives for the arrest of Gonnord. 
— Order for the arrest of Gonnord. — Sentence pronounced the 
22d Flore'al, year IV. — The Amnesty of Brumaire, year IV. — 
Verses by Lebrun. — M. de Fleurieu. — Robespierre. — Madame 
de Lamballe as intermediary. — Conditions imposed by the 
Constitutionalists. — Organization of a newspaper. — Cessation 
of the duties of public prosecutor. — The king unable to 
keep his promise. — Abbe Georgel. — Various errors. — Another 
version of the death of Madame de Lamballe. — Politics of 
Mirabeau. — Anger of the queen. — Madame de Lamballe's 
name the first on the list of massacres. — Supper of the 
triumvirs. — Anniversaries of the death of the princess and of 
the Due de Penthi^vre. — Funeral oration. — Masses continued 
under the Empire and the Restoration. — Church of Saint 
Leu. — Plan for n. monument to the memory of Madame de 
Lamballe. — Lines by Delille. — Prediction of Nostradamus as 
applied to Madame de Lamballe ...... 304 

Translator's Notes 325 


Madame de Lamballe 

Madame de Lamballe 


A little town, quaintly nestling on a fertile plateau, 
boasting no vanity from its choice site, but preserving 
all the modesty of its surroundings — such is Nangis. 

Nevertheless, like others, it has had its day in the 
past, and, like them, can claim a place in history. 
Thus we see it as a frame to the picture which natu- 
rally has its place in the beginning of the study we are 
about to undertake. 

Scarcely had day dawned on the 31st of January, 
1767, a memorable date in its annals, when Nangis 
broke through its ordinary calm and awoke to active 

On that day its inhabitants were to have as guests 
the Prince de Lamballe and his future wife, the Prin- 
cesse de Carignan, and this royal union was to be 
blessed in the old church, of which the town was justly 
proud, a fine specimen of Gothic architecture, with its 
beautiful lines and remarkable purity of style. The 



people on this occasion acted as always under similar 

At the entrance of Nangis they erected a triumphal 
arch on which they raised an enormous escutcheon 
with the coat-of-arms of the town, the azure shield 
with six besants of silver. By their hands every house 
was adorned with flags, and poles to which oriflammes 
were suspended were placed at equal distances along 
the streets. 

Notwithstanding the attention demanded by these 
preparations, anxiety and curiosity reached a high 
pitch. At the least noise, at the rolling of a carriage, 
the gates were immediately opened and the windows 
were filled with heads, eager to question the road from 

The agitation was no less apparent in the streets. 
Citizens went and came, attracted by the unusual 
presence of horsemen who had passed and repassed at 
full speed since morning, and whose duty it was to 
announce the arrival of the Princesse de Carignan's 
carriages. When the equipage of the Due de Pen- 
thievre appeared the crowd was in an uproar. The 
good duke, so universally beloved and respected, was 
radiant; this marriage carried out his most cherished 
wishes, and the joy depicted on the face of his son 
added to his happiness. 

In order to follow a gallant custom, or rather from 
a very natural feeling of the heart, which in his legit- 
imate desire to become acquainted at last with her 



who was to be his companion for life he could not 
resist, the Prince de Lamballe had gone the day before 
to Montereau, where the princess was staying. He 
had been introduced as a simple gentleman, and had 
paid her a compliment in offering her a bouquet in the 
name of his master. The few moments in which he 
had been able to look at her had sufficed for him to 
appreciate mademoiselle's charms, and the infatuation 
caused by his happiness, but poorly dissimulated, well- 
nigh disclosed who he really was. 

His emotion was such that upon his return to Nan 
gis he had no need to acknowledge the state of his 
affections; every one was convinced that it would be 
a love match.' 

As soon as the carriages appeared the Due de Pen- 
thievre stepped out, followed by the Prince de Lam- 
balle and the Comte and Comtesse de La Marche. 
Mademoiselle Carignan, with her suite, did likewise, 
and advanced, escorted by Monsieur de Lastic, her 
chief usher. 

The presentation took place at once; the duke em- 
braced the princess, after which it was the turn of the 
Prince de Lamballe, who held her long in his arms. 

Then all this brilliant assemblage returned to the 
carriages and went back to Nangis. 

In the Prince de Lamballe Mademoiselle de Cari- 
gnan had no difficulty in recognizing the gallant mes- 
senger of the previous evening, who had caused her 
no little anxiety. Timidly she reproached him for not 



having made himself known. During the journey he 
showed her the most assiduous attention, and the duke 
did not cease to thank her for the pleasure which he 
owed to her. On her side, the princess acknowledged 
every care given her during the journey. 

At the gates of the city the crowd increased, became 
denser, and the people craned their necks in order to 
see the better. Raised in the midst of a severe court, 
which had carefully kept her apart from all luxury, the 
princess at first seemed confused by the magnificent 
preparations for her marriage ; but this feeling was only 
a passing one, and soon disappeared in the joy and 
happiness which seemed to reign everywhere. 

The clergy were assembled before the church to 
receive the royal wedding procession and conduct it to 
the chapel of the Marquis de Nangis. The little 
chapel, situated at one side of the church, was filled 
with souvenirs of this noble family; their arms orna- 
mented the high altar, the frescoes portrayed their 
deeds of valor. Conducted with perfect art, the ordi- 
narily severe, even mournful, aspect of the ceremony 
was lost. Flowers were scattered about in profusion, 
and, by the diversity of their coloring, added brightness 
to the whole eiFect. The benediction was pronounced 
by the Cardinal de Luynes. 

On this point we disagree with Fortaire, who makes 
the royal couple leave in the afternoon, and who gives 
the details of a supper which must have taken place 
the same evening at the Hotel de Toulouse. Fortaire 



afterwards states that perhaps his memory is at fault, 
and we cannot prefer his version to the one in the 
" Gazette de France," a daily paper; the more so, as 
we think that the recent loss in the Due de Pen- 
thievre's family would have necessitated a private 

From the church they went with great pomp to the 
Chateau de Nangis, kindly put at the disposal of the 
Due de Penthievre by the Guerchy family. 

Is it necessary to add that the young couple hurried 
through the collation which was given them ? Before 
all else they wished to talk without restraint, away 
from tiresome staring. Nothing could have been more 
propitious to sweet interchange of thought, nothing 
could have been better suited to a delightful tete-a-tete 
than this beautiful estate of Nangis. Thanks to the 
deep forests everything there was a mystery, and in 
their then state of feelings might not our lovers have 
fallen under the charm of the deepest passion ? 

The chateau itself, which was very old and entirely 
surrounded by vast moats filled with water, and which 
they saw from afar, lighted by the uncertain rays of 
winter, like a fantastic tableau, attracted them and 
added still more to the impression already produced. 

Several days passed in this way, entirely given up to 
love and poetry, would perhaps have turned the prince's 
growing passion for his young wife in a very different 
direction, and shed its happy influence on this union. 
Had they been ordinary mortals, no thought of eonven- 



tionality could have hindered them from thus passing 
those days of happiness; but princes born, princes of 
the same blood, politics alone presided over their nup- 
tials, and could not help ruling their life. Their re- 
turn to Paris had been arranged in advance, and it was 
impossible to change the plan. 

The day closed with a great feast, to which all the 
Due de Penthievre's friends had been invited. The 
fete was held in the large drawing-room of the chateau, 
which was illuminated by a thousand lights. 

According to Michelin, this same room had been 
used for the banquets at the wedding of Marie of Sax- 
ony, daughter of the King of Poland, with the dauphin, 
and also for that of Joseph de Bourbon-Conti and For- 
tunee Marie d'Este, Princess of Modena. 

The following day Nangis returned to its wonted 
calm, the chateau and the park resumed their everyday 
appearance, and all the lords went back to Paris. 

Of the seven children born from the union of Marie 
Felicite d'Este with the Due de Penthievre, the Prince 
de Lamballe and Mademoiselle de Bourbon alone re- 
mained. So, from his son's childhood, the duke had 
resolved to marry him, in the sweet hope of seeing 
him perpetuate his race. Was it not premature ? 
Was it very prudent to bind in wedlock, somewhat 
against his will, this youth of nineteen, whose conduct 
had already caused him more than one pang ? 

The duke, in his wisdom, had certainly weighed all 
the consequences of his resolution. He himself had 



married at the same age, and the example of his hap- 
piness was there to strengthen his decision. Was it, 
then, so rash on his part to believe that the influence 
of a woman young, full of attractions, and of a pleas- 
ing personality would be more efficacious than his 
paternal authority, and that she would succeed in 
averting unhappy temptations from the prince, whose 
character was weaker than his disposition was vicious ? 

The Due de Penthievre had not sought in this mar- 
riage a fortune for his son; his own was sufficient, 
and he knew that the court of Sardinia was not rich 
enough for him to aspire to a large dowry. 

The inventory of the possessions of the Princesse de 
Lamballe gives us a hint as to the marriage contract, 
signed at Turin, the 17th of January, 1767, before 
the State minister and royal notary of the king of 
Sardinia. From this inventory we see that the prin- 
cess had a dowry of one hundred and fifty thousand 
livres from the Prince and Princesse de Savoie Cari- 
gnan, her father and mother, Piedmont money, worth 
in French money one hundred and eighty thousand 
livres, with an income at four per cent., besides a 
trousseau worth eighteen thousand livres. For this 
the princess gave up all claim of inheritance from her 
father and mother, in favor of her brothers, or their 
heirs in the male line. The Due de Penthievre gave 
to his daughter-in-law seventy-five thousand livres' 
worth of diamonds and other precious stones. 

Furthermore, it was stipulated that if the princess 



survived her husband, she should have, in addition to 
her dowry, sixty thousand livres, in French money, 
thirty thousand livres income for life, besides sixteen 
dresses and other articles for her use, to the amount 
of seventy-five thousand livres. The king, to vi'hom 
the Due de Penthievre had told his plans, approved of 
them, and ofFered him the hand of Mademoiselle de 
Savoie Carignan. 

The preliminaries were arranged according to the 
following account in the " Gazette de France " : 

"Versailles, January lo, 1767. 

" On the seventh of this month the king announced 
the marriage of the Prince de Lamballe and Marie 
Therese Louise, Princesse de Carignan, fourth daugh- 
ter of Louis Victor Amedee Joseph de Savoie, Prince 
de Carignan, and of Christine Henriette de Hesse 

The following day, the 8th of January, according 
to the same authority, the French ambassador pre- 
sented the official announcement in the name of the 


" Turin, January 14, 1767. 

" Last Thursday, Baron de Choiseul, ambassador 
of France to this court, had a private audience with 
the king, in which he presented to his Majesty the 
request for Princesse Marie Therese de Carignan from 
the Prince de Lamballe; at the same time he gave the 
king the letter which her very Christian Majesty wrote 
to him on this occasion. To-day the king announced 
the marriage to the royal officers, to the chevaliers of 


the Annonciade, and to the principal courtiers who 
have admittance to his cabinet ; the signing of the con- 
tract and the celebration of the marriage are arranged 
for Saturday, the 17th, and the same day the young 
princess will leave for France." ^ 

Following is the itinerary of the young princess's 
journey, by which she took fifteen days to reach Paris: 

"Versailles, February 11, 1767. 

" The Princesse de Lamballe left Turin the 17th of 
January in the carriage of the Prince de Carignan, her 
father, and reached the Pont de Beauvoisin the 24th, 
where she was met by the Chevalier de Lastic, acting 
for the Due de Penthievre and the Prince de Lamballe, 
The latter presented to the princess the ladies who 
were to be in her suite and the officers who were to 
serve her. On the 25th the princess left the Pont de 
Beauvoisin, in the Prince de Lamballe' s carriage, and 
reached Montereau the afternoon of the 30th." 

The Prince and Princesse de Lamballe left Nangis 
the 1st of February, arrived the same day at Paris, and 
went to the Hotel de Toulouse. It is probable that 
in the evening the young couple were presented to the 
royal princess, and that the supper of thirty covers 
took place, of which Fortaire speaks. In the mean- 
time appeared the wedding song dedicated to the Prince 
de Lamballe : 

" Crown with wreaths thy brow immortal, Hymen, 
Wave high thy torch that shines with heav'niy hue. 
Upon my bank a triumph that is new 
Now summons thee, and Love calls thee again. 


Two hearts, each pierced with Cupid-given pain, 

Seek happy union in a lasting chain. 

Why tarry you ? Haste to my banklets low, 

And see increase your ever fair empire 

Of wedded ones, in whom we all admire 

The rarest gifts that Heav'n can e'er bestow." 

Thus spoke the Nymph, the goddess of the Seine, 

To Hymen, God of Wedlock, who replied : 

" Fair Queen of Waters, which forever glide 

About thy sovereign city, not in vain 

You speak ; no other dwelling and no other sun 

Where I receive from mortals homage meet 

Is sought by me, or cherished, but the one 

Which your banks give, and which to me is sweet ; 

Nor elsewhere do I ever see, as here. 

My altars thronged with those I hold most dear ; 

My power invoked most zealously by each, 

And the dependence that my laws must teach. 

The city honors me by greatest zest. 

E'en Love himself, my rival, at my best 

Ne'er throws a shadow o'er my power quite ; 

United, both, we share our strength and might. 

He wishes to be happy but through me ; 

Through him I'd rule, and to his laws agree. 

And yet, alas ! Love's enemy and mine. 

An adversary bold and full of shame, 

Upon thy banks to-day in silence came ; 

He broke my laws, he overstepped their line, 

And left to crime an open path so fine 

That Hymen's lovely Innocence and Peace 

Please less, and direful crimes increase ; 

That, without shame, thy people outrage sore, 

And — " Hymen ceased, and said no more. 

Nor could he, for his voice was choked. 

The Nymph, in pity, thus invoked : 

' ' Why cherish thus thy every deepest grief ? 

Why vainly add to sorrow's weight ? 

If some wrong mortals find relief 



In scorning right, if virtuous laws they hate, 
Yet all the rest still have their firm belief 
In thee ; they love and know thy rights are great. 
Thy altar smokes again with incense sweet, 

A Prince, son of Penthi^vrus, doth entreat " 

Then, all beside himself, god Hymen spoke : 

" O sweetest hope, that ever was so fair, 

O best beloved, in my great despair, 

Seek you, O Nymph, with flattery to cloak 

My anger ? Is't true, a son ? " She spoke : 

"Yes, yes, a son, his father's image, he, 

Proud, generous, tender, strong, kind for humanity, 

Who finds the empire sweet that laws from thee must give ; 

Who wishes but by thee in happiness to live." 

Then Hymen's heart rejoiced indeed ; 
No longer was he weighed with care. 
To France's fields he longed to speed ; 
Wave there his torch, his bright crown bear, 
Call to him Laughter, Joy, and Grace, 
Who, full of strength, sprang up apace. 
They all burst forth in merry glee ; 
They part, take wing, and hither flee 
To our green banks. Ne'er Love before 
Began his course on lighter wing, 
E'en when in mischief he would soar. 
When fresher thoughts his mother'd bring, 
Than when, another heart to score. 
He left Cytheria, Paphos' shore, 
And sweet repose from two hearts tore. 
Thus this most faithful, god-sent boy 
Olympus scales, its mighty height. 
And, speeding hence on wings of light, 
Stands on our banks in beaming joy. 

Four days later Madame de Lamballe was presented, 
by the Comtesse de La Marche, to the king and to 
the royal family. 



Louis XVI., who forgot nothing in his diary, men- 
tions the fact in these words : 

" February 5th, '67, the presentation of Madame 
de Lamballe." 

The following day the royal family paid a visit to 
the princess, whereupon Louis XVL again writes: 

" February 6th, visited Madame de Lamballe." 



Let us now make the acquaintance of her in whom 
the Due de Penthievre had placed his fondest hopes, 
whom he considered capable of reforming the Prince 
de Lamballe, and whose influence his son could not, 
in his opinion, resist. 

Born at Turin, the 8th of September, 1749, Marie 
Therese Louise de Savoie Carignan in her eighteenth 
year was not exactly what we call pretty. Her fea- 
tures somewhat lacked the regularity which is the ac- 
companiment of true beauty; but the brilliancy of 
her complexion was remarkable. Although her large, 
light blue eyes were rather expressionless, her face 
was none the less interesting, thanks to her blond hair 
of an adorable golden hue, which increased still more 
the sweetness of an ensemble full of charms and attrac- 
tions. Add to this a remarkably beautiful figure, and 
it is easy to see that the Princesse de Lamballe was 
really very charming.' 

Morally, she was good. Nothing of a coquette, she 
was very sweet and almost ingenuous. Though but 
little blessed with natural wit, her gayety was none the 
less frank and full of spontaneity. She was not an 
enemy to pleasure ; but she preferred it simple and 



without ostentation. Criticism has often been levelled 
at the frivolous side of her character, but never did it 
succeed, even in its sharpest attacks, in citing a wrong 
action on her part. Such was the delightful child 
whom politics had united with Louis Alexander Joseph 
Stanislas de Bourbon Lamballe. 

The Due de Penthievre had therefore good reason 
for appearing satisfied with this marriage. Not only 
on this occasion did he receive many congratulations, 
among others a letter from his old friend De La- 
moignon, for whom for many years he had professed 
a special regard, but he could see for himself both 
the improvement in his son's behavior and the increas- 
ing influence which the young princess seemed to gain 
over him. 

On the loth of February our young heroine was 
present in fiocchi at the representation of * ' La Gou- 
vernante " given upon the return of Mole. 

Some time after, a wealthy stranger came to Paris 
and spoke of his various meetings with noble person- 
ages. He told how he had been presented by the 
Marquis de Besseville to the Due de Penthievre and 
to the Prince de Lamballe, while the lady-in-waiting 
to the princess, the Comtesse de Guebriant, presented 
him to Madame de Lamballe. 

That which further confirms the good opinion of 
the duke regarding the improved morals of his son, is 
this letter from the Prince de Lamballe, written at 
Versailles, March 25th, in vvhich, doubtless in order to 



devote himself wholly to his wife, the prince declares 
that " the desire which he had had to raise a small 
pack of hounds for hunting deer was entirely gone." 

We read of the king's holding a grand review on 
the Field of Marly, July ist. It was a magnificent 
fete, say the contemporary documents; the queen was 
there, as well as the Comtes de Provence and d'Artois, 
Mesdames Adelaide, Victoire, Louise, and Sophie, the 
Due de Bourbon, Madame de Lamballe, and the entire 

The king rode about among the troops, followed by 
a brilliant cortege^ at the head of which was the Due 
de Chartres, the Prince de Conde, and the Prince de 
Lamballe. But marriage, unfortunately, did not suc- 
ceed in reforming this prince. He was decidedly in- 
capable of appreciating the charm of his young wife, 
and the hope that the poor duke had conceived of 
rescuing his blase son was strangely disappointed. 

In short, only five months after his marriage. Mon- 
sieur de Lamballe had Mademoiselle de la Chassaigne, 
from the Comedie Fran^aise, for his mistress. 

Private memoirs tell us of it in the following words : 

" Mademoiselle de la Chassaigne, a young actress 
of the Comedie Fran^aise, a niece of Mademoiselle de 
la Mothe, former chorus-leader in this theatre, is to- 
day the object of the gossip and the jealousy of all her 
friends. Although not very pretty, and possessed of 
very little talent, she has been honored with the atten- 
tion of a young prince (Lamballe), but lately married. 
2 17 


The father of the young man is very conscientious, 
and has taken every precaution to prove the necessary 
facts relating to the truth of the case. He has assured 
the actress of his protection, and a sum of money has 
been settled upon her and her prospective child." 

Three months later, the same author tells us, on 
September 26th a still graver deed was committed, and 
the prince communicated to his wife the result of his 
misconduct. He was then intimate with one of the 
cleverest courtesans of the city, and his need of money 
made him commit an abominable act, for, not content 
with deceiving his wife, he carried ofF her diamonds 
with which to pay for his debaucheries. 

"They have spoken," Bachaumont says further, 
" of the flight of Mademoiselle La Forest, to the great 
regret of a young prince but lately married, who had 
conceived for her a dangerous passion. The motive 
for this hasty flight is known positively. The lover 
had made her a present of a rather large share of the 
princess's diamonds. The woman learned that an in- 
vestigation was being made, and thought best to dis- 
appear. Better advised, however, she presented her- 
self, after a short time, before the Due de Penthievre, 
the young prince's father, brought back the diamonds, 
and threw herself on her knees, asking for considera- 
tion. The duke appeared satisfied with this proceed- 
ing, and told her that an estimate should be made of 
the diamonds, and that their value should be paid to 
her; that she need have no anxiety; that his son alone 
was to blame; that her child should be cared for, since 
she said she expected one, and that in any case she 



should not suffer; but he demanded that she should 
not see the young prince, her lover, again." 

As a result of the inconstancy of the prince, whom 
she loved and who so recently had vowed to be faith- 
ful to her, Madame de Lamballe was taken very ill. 

" A bright, amiable young princess, married last 
winter to a husband also young, has not been able 
to suffer his repeated acts of infidelity, and, however 
disastrous they may have been to her love for this 
modern Theseus, she could not without a feeling of 
positive jealousy see his estrangement and desertion. 
She became envious of the most despicable objects 
whom the prince honored with his attentions, and has 
given way to profound melancholy and hysteria. Since 
the fashionable physicians have been unable to remedy 
the trouble, which is more mental than physical, she 
has placed herself in the hands of one Pittara, a charla- 
tan now in vogue, who applies plasters to his patients. 
Several ladies of the court have tried him, and the 
Duchesse de Mazarin having spoken of him to the 
princess the latter sent for him a short time ago." 

The prince, who had lost every feeling of de- 
cency, no longer sought to save appearances, and no 
doubt thinking himself too closely watched in the 
Hotel at Toulouse, left it. 

" It is said that the Prince de Lamballe went away 
without letting any one know where he was, and that 
the Due de Penthievre has sought everywhere for him. 
He has been found in a furnished hotel, under treat- 



merit for a severe illness, the result of a too hazardous 

" They describe him as being in a most deplorable 
state, and they add that perhaps he will be sadly muti- 

In spite of the disgust which his son's conduct 
caused him, the Due de Penthievre strove to save him 
and had him carried to his own home to be cared for. 
He had not yet lost all hope of reforming him, but, 
first of all, he wished to send away Mademoiselle La 
Cour, and thanks to a large sum which he offered the 
latter he succeeded. Unfortunately, however, his 
efforts to help his son were without avail. Insensible 
to the paternal affection and to the attention of the 
princess. Monsieur de Lamballe fled again, scarcely 
one month before his death. 

*' Monsieur le Prince de Lamballe," our inexhausti- 
ble chronicler again relates, "is on the D'Antin road, 
at Monsieur de Wargemont's; he is in a most deplor- 
able state, aggravated by his having hurt himself on 

For the second time the duke sought his son and 
had him brought back to Lucienne, where the phy- 
sicians hoped for a speedy cure in the country air. 
But the malady only increased ; every day brought a 
new trouble, and three weeks later the unhappy prince 
could no longer be deceived as to his condition. Real- 
izing his wrongdoings, and won over, perhaps, by the 
example of his family, who did not address a single 



word of reproach to him, the prince desired to receive 
the sacraments of the Church. Some days after, his 
condition became hopeless, and the members of his 
family could not enter his room. 

" The Prince de Lamballe is completely without 
hope of recovery, and is living only by fever. The 
princesses no longer come into his room. He is sure 
to succumb to the numberless remedies which have 
been given him. It is known, from an apothecary, 
that he has taken seven pounds of mercury, not to 
mention the Keyser pills and other mixtures of the 
charlatans in whose hands his Highness placed him- 
self at the beginning of his illness. The Princesse de 
Conti and the Comtesse de La Marche are at Lucienne 
with the disconsolate family. For the rest, the prince 
is ending his life well; Father Imbert, the monk, is 
his confessor. 

*' The Prince de Lamballe has just died." 

This " ending his life well," from a spiritual point 
of view at least, as Bachaumont tells us, was none the 
less terrible, and the last moments of the unhappy 
man, whose sufferings were frightful, were a cruel 
atonement for the wrongdoings of his wretched life. 

Doubtless a kindly notice was requested by the Due 
de Penthievre, for the '* Gazette de France," from 
which we gather the details of this event, was careful 
not to pass over in silence the repentance and piety 
shown by the dying man. 

" Louis Alexander Joseph Stanislas de Bourbon, 



Prince de Lamballe, first huntsman of France, died at 
the Chateau de Lucienne, near Versailles, the 6th of 
this month, at half-past eight o'clock in the morning, 
aged twenty years and eight months. He was born 
the 6th of September, 1747. He was married the 
17th of January, 1767, to Marie Therese Louise de 
Carignan. We cannot too highly commend the senti- 
ments of piety and resignation and the courage which 
this prince showed during his long illness, up to the 
last moments of his life. On account of his death the 
court will wear mourning for ten days." 

The funeral took place the next day but one. 

" Last Sunday the funeral of the Prince de Lam- 
balle was held without ostentation. The procession 
left Lucienne about half-past eleven o'clock in the 
evening. It consisted first of three carriages, in one of 
which was the body of the dead prince; in the second, 
the minister and the vicar of the parish of Lucienne, 
with a chaplain ; and in the third the Marquis de Besse- 
ville and the Viscount de Castellane, first equerries, 
bearing the crown ; secondly, two gentlemen on horse- 
back; thirdly, four pages and an outrider; fourthly, a 
large number of valets on foot bearing torches; and, 
finally, one hundred poor people. The procession 
reached Rambouillet at six o'clock in the morning, 
and was there met by the minister, the vicar, and a 
large number of the clergy." 

This sad event was a cruel blow to the princess: 
her sorrow was deep, her grief indescribable. Noth- 
ing, in short, was more real than the love she had pro- 
fessed for her unworthy husband, upon whom, in spite 



of his misconduct, she never ceased to the last mo- 
ment to lavish the most touching affection. 

Then, alone in her grief, undecided, incapable of 
reflection, she thought of retiring to the Abbey of 
Saint Antoine, vi^here, within the shadow of the severe 
walls of the cloister, she could bury her regrets. 

In what a terrible position this frightful bereavement 
placed her! What should she do ? How act as a 
widow, so young, without experience, in the midst 
of a world with which she was unacquainted, in an 
adopted country, whose customs were scarcely known 
to her ? 

It was at this point that the Due de Penthievre 
appeared, an angel of goodness, endowed with every 
virtue, and begged the princess not to leave him. 

With a nature so essentially susceptible to generous 
feelings, the princess could not, without being strongly 
affected, see the havoc which the son's death had 
caused in her father-in-law, and she felt that she had 
duties to fulfil and consolation to render; then, at 
length, more mistress of herself, in possession of all 
the reason that had for a time been wandering, she 
saw in him a guide and support, and his request alone 
was needed to induce her to go to Rambouillet. 



It is at Rambouillet that we see her passing the first 
days of her widowhood, with the Due de Penthievre 
and Mademoiselle de Bourbon, her sister-in-law, who 
never ceased to lavish upon her the tenderest care, and 
who, the following year, by her marriage with the Due 
de Chartres, brought a healthful diversion to the grief 
of the family. This country life, to which at first she 
was only resigned, since at the time quiet and solitude 
alone suited her state of mind, after a while pleased 
her immensely, and the beautiful trees of the park, 
which appealed so strongly to reverie, had a particular 
charm for her. At Rambouillet she found again the 
calmness of mind which she sought, and that free and 
easy life which was one of her favorite dreams; for, 
although the house was filled with every luxury which 
the position of her hosts demanded, the Due de Pen- 
thievre, with his modest tastes, had banished from it 
formality and etiquette. Could it have been the re- 
membrance of these happy days which suggested to 
Marie Antoinette the idea of the beautiful Trianon, 
where the queen so loved to go, to be free from the 
obligations of the court ? 

The year 1769 opened with the solemn announce- 



ment of the marriage of the Due de Chartres with 
Mademoiselle de Bourbon Penthievre.' This marriage 
contract had been made over and over again many 
times by the whims of the Due d' Orleans, but was 
finally concluded the 4th of January, as we read in 
the ' ' Gazette de France ' ' : 

" On the morning of day before yesterday, the king 
announced the marriage of the Due de Chartres, son 
of the Due d' Orleans, first prince of the blood, and 
Mademoiselle de Penthievre, daughter of the Due de 

It was in every respect a fine match. Mademoiselle 
de Penthievre, according to Bezenval, did not have a 
dowry, it is true, of more than fifty thousand crowns 
income; but, at the death of the Prince de Lamballe, 
she would inherit the entire fortune of her father, esti- 
mated at an income of three millions at least. 

On the other hand. Mademoiselle de Penthievre 
was deeply in love with the Due de Chartres, who at 
the time was very attractive, and she did not hesitate 
to declare that she would never marry any one but 

Nevertheless the wedding was not celebrated at Ver- 
sailles until the 5th of the following April. Why all 
this delay ? Was it to allow the young prince to be- 
come fully acquainted with her who loved him after 
having seen him but once at Madame de Modene's, 
* ' where the Due de Chartres had offered her his hand 



to lead her to her carriage" ? This marriage, which 
was not announced under more auspicious circum- 
stances than that of the Princesse de Lamballe, could 
scarcely be more happy. 

To believe Bachaumont, who tells us a pretty anec- 
dote about the occupations of the young Jiance, is to 
suppose that the Due de Chartres gave to Mademoi- 
selle de Penthievre only a brief courtship. What he 
mentions on this point is of sufficient interest to have 
a place in our story : 

" At the wedding of the Comte de Fitz James, the 
Due de Chartres gave him a supper at his little house, 
called the Souper des Veuves. There were present the 
mistresses of this prince, and of different lords who 
were married or about to become so. Everything was 
draped in black. The women were in mourning, also 
the men. The candles of Love were extinguished and 
were replaced by those of Marriage. These two gods 
were in a continual state of rivalry at this fete ; in a 
word, everything there characterized the Fall of Pleas- 
ures and the Empire of Reason. They say there is a 
question of renewing this farce in a still more solemn 
manner on the occasion of the approaching marriage 
of the Due de Chartres." 

Once married, the Duchesse de Chartres acquired 
a passion for the theatre, and was often seen there, 
accompanied by her sister-in-law. Mademoiselle 
d' Orleans, and by the Comtesse de La Marche. The 
Prince de Conti gave his niece a pretty fete in the Park 
d'Issy. "A delightful affair," says Bachaumont. 



"There was no crowd; it was almost a family 

In spite of her mourning, the Princesse de Lamballe 
did not fail to attend a celebration at the end of the 
year at Saint Denis ; then she returned, without doubt, 
to her father-in-law. Our gracious princess always 
became wearied when she was obliged to appear at 
any court reception. To leave her favorite occupa- 
tions, even for a few days, seemed to her a cruel ordeal, 
and it needed much of the Due de Penthievre's gentle 
and at times even paternal authority to make her do 
so. She seldom left her father-in-law, especially as, in 
addition to his kindly acts, he uttered sweet words of 
sympathy, which came from a heart eminently kind 
and generous. Nothing can better express his charity 
than these lines of Florian : 

" Disguised his birth, 'neath g-arments meek, 
Penthi^vre at times the poor doth seek ; 
And from his priceless palace rare 
Renews the widow's scanty fare." 

Thus Madame de Lamballe lived quietly during the 
last part of that year and the beginning of the follow- 
ing. But in 1770 a great event occurred, the results 
of which were seriously to influence the future of our 
charming heroine. The dauphin married the Arch- 
duchess of Austria, Marie Antoinette, and the whole 
court was invited to assist at the magnificent fetes, the 
splendor of which surpassed, they say, those of all pre- 
ceding royal marriages. Madame de Lamballe was 



present at every ceremony, and the dauphiness, to 
whom she was presented, was charmed with her and 
overwhelmed her with attentions which the spectators 
did not fail to notice. More than one saw even then 
the dawn of an intimacy which later was to give so 
much trouble to the two friends. 

Probably the princess stayed at Versailles only the 
necessary time and then returned to her beloved occu- 
pations in the country. Then, either for distraction 
or because of her health, which was still somewhat 
poor, the Due de Penthievre took her to the seashore. 

" The Due de Penthievre has taken Madame de 
Chartres, Madame de Lamballe, and Madame de La 
Marche to Havre de Grace. The Due de Chartres 
is going also; he will probably start the lOth of Sep- 

Unfortunately this trip was postponed, owing to an 
unexpected illness on the part of the Due de Pen- 
thievre during a stay in the Chateau of Crecy. Little 
by little the princess recovered her spirits, and through 
the soothing influence of her father-in-law she again 
faced the world, for we see her in February, 177 1, 
doing the honors of the Hotel de Toulouse for the 
royal Prince of Sweden and for his brother. Prince 
Adolphus, as well as for the King of Denmark. 

It was at this time that she became intimate with 
the dauphiness, a fact of secondary importance at the 
time, but which Mercy Argenteau, who will be a great 



help to us, was nevertheless careful to note and report 
to Marie Therese on the 17th of March, designating 
the intimacy as "an unusual affection." He foresaw 
rightly, for this was the beginning of that great friend- 
ship which later was to be of such interest to Mercy 
and to his august sovereign. 

At that time Madame de Lamballe was almost con- 
stantly at court. During the year 1771 we see her 
assisting at every ceremonial. The " Gazette de 
France" mentions her presence in the chapel at high 
mass on Holy Thursday, at which the king was pres- 
ent accompanied by the royal family, the Due de Bour- 
bon, and the Due de Penthievre. In May she went 
to Fontainebleau, was there presented by the king to 
the future Comtesse de Provence, and attended the 
supper. Then, in June, she accompanied the Holy 
Sacrament in the procession of Corpus Christi. 

The Due de Penthievre could not but congratulate 
himself on his efforts in bringing back calmness of 
mind to his daughter-in-law and in making her by 
degrees take up the duties of society. Another happi- 
ness was in store for him, for his daughter, the 
Duchesse de Chartres, was about to bear a child, and 
her husband's attentions, if we may believe Bachau- 
mont, were more than assiduous. 

' ' They speak, ' ' he says, ' ' only with the greatest 
admiration of the care which the Due de Chartres takes 
of his august wife. He never leaves her and re- 
doubles his tender attentions. Far from giving him- 



self up to the mistakes of his early youth, which would 
seem more excusable under circumstances in which his 
passions would be likely to carry him away, he uses 
the kindest and most deferential manner towards the 
princess, and this causes great joy to the Due de 
Penthievre. " 

But, in spite of all the care with which she was sur- 
rounded, in spite of every attention, the Duchesse de 
Chartres gave birth to a still-born child on the lOth 
of October. This was a great grief to the family, 
a grief shared by the young dauphiness, who wrote to 
her mother on the 13th of October, 1777 : 

' ' You surely know, my dearest mother, the sorrow 
of the Duchesse de Chartres, who has just given birth 
to a still-born child." 

Then the daughter, knowing the secret longing of 
her mother, went on to say: 

*' I wish I had some news to tell you concerning 
myself, but as yet there is apparently none." 

After this event the lack of documents causes us to 
lose sight of the princess, whom we do not again find 
until January, 1772, when she is one of a sleighing 

We read in the " Gazette de France " that — 

*' Madame the Dauphiness and the Comtesse de 
Provence, accompanied by the Princesse de Lamballe, 
took a sleigh ride on the 30th of last month. Mad- 
ame, the dauphin's wife, afterwards gave a dinner to 



the Princesse de Lamballe, who had the honor of being 
with her on this drive." ' 

In August of the same year the Duchesse de Char- 
tres went to Forges les Eaux. Unfortunately, we can- 
not analyze the description given by Bachaumont, and 
which, if we are to believe it, does not lack a certain 
interest. Was the princess on the trip ? We are not 
positive. However, we append the paragraph from 
Bachaumont : 

" At the time of the journey of the Due and Du- 
chesse de Chartres to the waters of Forges there was 
edited in Normandy a paper called the ' Gazette Nor- 
mande.' It was a journal modelled after the supple- 
ments of the ' Gazette de France ' ; that is to say, it 
was evil, untruthful, calumnious, with, however, some 
ievf good points, as it should have." 

The princess does not appear again until the follow- 
ing year, when her father-in-law saw his dearest hope 
realized in the person of his little grandson, the Due 
de Valois, afterward Louis Philippe I., born the 6th 
of October, 1773. 

It was on the occasion of this great event that the 
duke received from his young page, Florian, who had 
not yet reached the age of eighteen, the curious letter 
signed " Polichinelle," in which he describes minutely 
the good qualities of his protector : 

" FoNTAiNEBLEAu, October 29, 1773. 

"My Lord: Your serene Highness will receive 
many compliments on the birth of the Prince de Va- 



lois. Those who mean the best often express them- 
selves in the poorest manner and I am of this number, 
my lord. I have begun a thousand letters before writ- 
ing one which would express to you all the joy I feel 
at this happy event. I have had the honor to serve 
Madame la Duchesse de Chartres, your daughter, and 
it is only right for me to rejoice at that which surely 
crowns the happiness of both of your serene High- 
nesses. I should not dare to reveal to you my senti- 
ments if you had not allowed me, my lord, to love you 
and to tell you so, and this, without my losing the 
deep respect which I should have for your august 
person, even though you were not a royal prince. It 
is, therefore, with every reason that I dare to assure you 
of it, my lord, as well as of the everlasting gratitude 
with which, throughout my life, I shall be, 

"Your serene Highness' s most humble and most 


At the head of the letter this note may be found : 
*' Deliver the subjoined answer; this letter is from 
little Florian, who has been my page." Below is the 
answer, written by the hand of the Due de Penthievre. 
It reads thus : 

*' I was very sure that Polichinelle would share my 
joy, and I thank him for it. I always wish to empha- 
size to Polichinelle my desire to be of use to him." 

Both the princess and the Due de Penthievre were 
presented to the Comtesse d'Artois, and were present 
at a supper at Choisy the same evening. 



The year 1774 was an important one, both on ac- 
count of the death of the old king and of the dauphin's 
accession to the throne. This same year is the one 
in which Madame de Lamballe appears to enjoy the 
entire favor of Marie Antoinette. She became, in 
truth, from this time, the inseparable companion of 
the queen, and was perhaps happier than at any other 

" Madame the Dauphiness," says the " Gazette 
de France," "the Comte de Provence, Madame la 
Comtesse d'Artois, and the Princesse de Lamballe 
were sleighing together, the 4th of the month, in the 
park of Versailles, and in the city. Madame the 
Dauphiness afterwards gave a dinner to the court 
ladies who had the honor of accompanying her on this 

The princess lost none of the pleasures of the court, 
and from the moment Marie Antoinette appeared in 
public, her place was by the side of the dauphiness. 
Bachaumont, always on the lookout for news, speaks 
of the representation of " Iphigenia " by Gluck, a 
favorite of the dauphiness.* This opera made quite a 
sensation, thanks to the particular attention paid the 
composei: by the daughter of Marie Therese. Bachau- 
mont says simply that it was a brilliant spectacle, and 
that " the dauphin and the dauphiness, the Comte and 
Comtesse de Provence arrived at half after five. " He 
adds : ' ' The Duchesse de Bourbon was already pres- 
ent, as well as the Princesse de Lamballe." 
3 33 


The " Nouvelle de Paris et de Versailles," from 
which we gather these details, is more explicit, and 
does not hide from us the fact that the dauphiness and 
her suite sought by their own enthusiasm to awaken 
the applause of the audience. 

"Yesterday's spectacle — namely, the long-expected 
representation of the opera of ' Iphigenia ' by Mon- 
sieur Gluck — was as brilliant as can be imagined. 

" His Highness the Dauphin, Madame the Dau- 
phiness, the Comte and Comtesse de Provence, the 
Duchesse de Chartres, the Duchesse de Bourbon, the 
Princesse de Lamballe, the princes, ministers, and en- 
tire court were present on this great musical occasion. 
Madame the Dauphiness never ceased to applaud dur- 
ing the performance, and those in the boxes followed 
her example." 

Several days later, the loth of May, Louis XV. 
died and there began for the dauphin that long ordeal 
so dreaded on account of his youth and inexperience — 
an ordeal which was finally to lead to his execution. 

The news of the king's death greatly affected the 
Duchesse de Chartres, whom Madame de Lamballe 
brought to the Due de Penthievre with a view to giv- 
ing her grief some distraction. Was this the real 
reason for the sorrow of the duchess? Were there not 
other causes for it ? That which makes us incline 
toward the latter hypothesis (although in this respect 
we cannot found our personal impressions on any 
given historical fact) is that the Baroness Oberkirch, 



generally to be relied on, tells us that June 6th — that 
is, less than a month after the event just mentioned — 
there was a supper given on her estate of Vanves to 
the Duchesse de Chartres and Madame de Lamballe. 

The great grief of the Duchesse de Chartres did not 
seem to be shared by those surrounding her, for the 
young king's first thought, as soon as he vi^as able, w^as 
to give the queen Trianon, afterwards so much talked 
about, and already at that time nicknamed " Little 
Vienna" — Trianon, which the queen had so long 
wanted, and which she received with good grace, plac- 
ing, however, certain conditions on her royal husband 
which another less good-natured man might not have 
accepted so complaisantly. 

*' The queen, when wife of the dauphin," says our 
inexhaustible Bachaumont, " made known her wish to 
have a pleasure-house of her own in which she could 
do just as she pleased. His Majesty, who had been 
told of this, said to her a few days ago: ' Madame, 
I am ready to satisfy your wish. I beg you to accept 
for your own use the large and the small Trianon. 
These beautiful palaces have always been the resi- 
dence of kings' favorites, therefore they should belong 
to you.' 

" The queen greatly appreciated this gift and espe- 
cially the gallant compliment which accompanied it. 
She answered the king, laughingly, that she would 
accept the Petit Trianon, on condition that he would 
come there only when invited." 

Marie Antoinette at once began to furnish the Tri- 



anon according to her tastes and to make it the gay 
and attractive hiding-place in which the best moments 
of her life were passed. Mercy even found that this 
occupation absorbed her too much and wrote to Marie 
Therese : 

" The queen's time is at present completely given 
up to the laying out of an English garden." 

Further on he continues : 

' ' This amusement would be a very harmless one if 
it left her time for serious thought." 

Marie Therese approved of Mercy, but extravagance 
was her constant thought and she wrote in reply : 

" I am more and more convinced that I am not de- 
ceived in my daughter's character, which for a long 
time I have thought inclined towards frivolities." 

Although giving a large share of thought to the 
"frivolities" of her daughter, Marie Therese evi- 
dently occupied herself chiefly with the queen's friend- 
ships; for Mercy, well trained and fully equal to his 
task, announced that Madame de Lamballe was greatly 
in favor and that the queen ' ' often received her in 
her boudoir." To add piquancy to the affair he 
traced for his mistress the portrait of her daughter's 
friend — a portrait which was far from poor, since he 
said : ' ' She adds to much sweetness and affability 
a very truthful character, far removed from intrigue or 



anything unseemly " j he even adds that, " although a 
Piedmontese, the princess is in no way intimate with 
madame or with Madame d'Artois " ; in a word, 
Mercy found " the choice excellent," 

In spite of this fine description, Mercy took care to 
add that he had made some observations on this in- 
timacy, in order, he said, to prevent trouble. 

It was not until September, 1775, that the princess 
became superintendent of the royal household, yet 
already long before that it was hinted at. Then, after 
a while, they did not hesitate to speak openly of it; it 
became the subject of all conversation; intrigue min- 
gled with it and the report acquired such strength that 
Madame de Noailles took umbrage and asked Mercy 
for an explanation. The latter was careful to reassure 
her, though he realized that the growing favor of 
Madame de Lamballe would arouse the greatest feel- 
ings of animosity. For the rest, he did not trouble 
himself about it, because, in his opinion, the queen 
dominated Madame de Lamballe, while the latter was 
without influence. In spite of every effort of this as- 
tute person, the queen had wished at different intervals 
to appoint her friend to a position, and especially upon 
her departure for Brittany. So he did not leave Marie 
Therese in ignorance of the different phases of this 
new intimacy, sometimes holding out hope, sometimes 
humbly acknowledging the futility of his remonstrances. 



The Due de Penthievre, strongly urged by Louis 
XVI., who feared the bad result caused by the disso- 
lution of Parliament and the troubles which this might 
bring about, accepted the delicate mission of presiding 
over the Estates of Brittany, No choice could have 
been happier. Alone, perhaps, of all the gentlemen 
of France, the duke, by his breadth of view and his 
upright character, at once firm and dignified, was capa- 
ble of bringing to a good end so difficult a task, and, 
by his tact and moderation, of stepping out of one of 
the most delicate situations with honor. Sure that his 
daughter-in-law would follow him, that she would help 
him with her beauty and her affectionate devotion in 
accomplishing his noble undertaking, and convinced 
of the usefulness of his services towards the king, 
Monsieur de Penthievre did not delay his reply and at 
once prepared to start. 

The separation was very hard for the two friends, 
but the queen could not feel bitter towards Madame de 
Lamballe for wishing to accompany her father-in-law. 
Moreover, it would have been poor taste to oppose her 
going. Having taken leave of the royal family, the 
Due de Penthievre started on the 14th of December 



and on the evening of the 17th our worthy travellers 
reached their journey's end. Always simple in his 
tastes, carefully avoiding all ostentation and every- 
thing that might seem to bring him into notice, the 
noble duke asked that his entrance into Rennes be incog- 
nito and without any of the display he might have had. 
Three days later the Estates opened. We find in 
the archives of Ille and Vilaine the following reference 
to our charming princess : 

" Tuesday, 20th December, 1774. 

"The Estates opened at five o'clock this evening. 
The entrance of Monsieur the Marquis of Serent and 
Monseigneur the Bishop of Rennes was marked by 
general applause, as was also the case when the Prin- 
cesse de Lamballe entered the court." 

The arrival of the duke and his daughter-in-law at 
Rennes was recognized by all. Every one saw in the 
Comte de Toulouse's son one who would quell discord 
and restore confidence.' 

Madame de Lamballe was considered as the most 
favorable bond of union for the duke's clearly expressed 
projects of conciliation. 

Nothing better explains the situation at that time 
than the following words, uttered on the arrival of 
these illustrious visitors: " Now all politics look smil- 
ing." Public feeling showed itself in a gift to Mad- 
ame de Lamballe, intended to keep in perpetual re- 
membrance her arrival : 



" Monday, January 9, 1775. 

"The deputies who first welcomed the Due de 
Penthievre and Madame de Lamballe at the opening 
of the Estates, offered to his Serene Highness a gift of 
one hundred thousand livres, and begged the princess 
to accept a diamond of equal value." 

Neither the duke nor the princess felt that they could 
receive such gifts and they declined them with one ac- 
cord, as the records of the following Wednesday show : 

"Wednesday, January 11, 1775. 

" The deputies who offered the gifts to the Due de 
Penthievre and the Princesse de Lamballe were received 
with courtesy and thanks, but were asked to beg the 
Estates to be good enough to allow them to decline 
the gifts." 

The actors, also, according to Metra, were desirous 
of celebrating the arrival of our two visitors by pre- 
senting an allegorical piece, called "The Coronation 
of a King." The play delighted the audience, but 
the duke was ill-pleased at the " unkind allusions to 
the memory of Louis XV.," for whom he " had had 
a profound veneration." 

At first he thought he would punish the author of 
the piece, but contented himself by " forbidding a sec- 
ond representation." 

At the end of about two months, during which time 
she " won the heart of every one in the province," 
the princess decided to leave, and returned a few days 



in advance of her father-in-law. She yielded, no doubt, 
to the urgent solicitation of Marie Antoinette, 'who, in 
her impatience to see the princess again, wrote the 
latter to come immediately to her upon her return, no 
matter what happened. The princess did so, and was 
rewarded by the pleasant surprise of seeing, on a mir- 
ror in the queen's apartment, her portrait, which Marie 
Antoinette had had painted during her absence. This 
was, indeed, a touching mark of afFection. To cap 
the climax, by some strange and perhaps wished-for 
coincidence, the princess arrived in time to attend a pri- 
vate fete given by the queen in the Salon d'Hercule, 
in honor of her brother, the Archduke Maximilian. 

At that time popular ambition was fixed upon the 
position of superintendent of the royal household, 
sought after by various persons at court. Every one 
spoke with envy of the coming nomination of Madame 
de Lamballe, for the queen had many times made 
known her intention in the matter. Even the news- 
papers reported the rumor as a fact, in spite of the 
claims of real princesses of the blood, as Bachaumont 
tells us. As yet these were only reports, but they 
suddenly acquired such strength that Mercy took care 
to inform Marie Therese of what was going on. 

At the time when the princess left for Brittany he 
wrote that the queen still had some " vague ideas " of 
having Madame de Lamballe for superintendent of the 
royal household. He even pretended that for two years 
he had kept Marie Antoinette from carrying out the idea. 



Marie Therese feared undue haste on the part of her 
daughter in making the appointment, but the faithful 
ambassador reassured her, and even imagined that he 
had succeeded, at least for the time being, in dissuading 
the queen from this idea. One month later he is more 
explicit, and is no longer doubtful of the success of his 

" The idea of making Madame de Lamballe super- 
intendent of the royal household," he writes, "has 
not gained in the last iew weeks. I trust that things 
will remain as they are; and, indeed, it looks now as 
if the Duchesse de Cosse would postpone the date on 
which she had planned to retire from court life." 

In reply to Mercy's letters of reassurance, Marie 
Therese, who was more skeptical, could not hope that 
her daughter would do otherwise than carry out her 
own ideas. Her only consolation was that the date 
of Madame de Cosse's retirement from court was not 
yet fixed. In his heart of hearts Mercy knew that 
Marie Therese was right; but he would not acknowl- 
edge his defeat and sought again for new arguments 
to confirm his words. Now it was Madame de Lam- 
balle's health which was at stake. This was a last 
straw for the poor drowning diplomat and he caught 
at it eagerly. 

" The Princesse de Lamballe is subject to a nervous 
trouble, which often causes weakness and convulsions. 
If her condition does not alter she runs one less chance 



of becoming superintendent, and I notice that the 
queen is still undecided on this point." 

Mercy's scheming did not succeed, however. Marie 
Therese did not let herself be deceived by it. Natu- 
rally strong herself, she attached little importance to 
Madame de Lamballe's nervous attacks, w^hich she 
called simply " twitchings," and she hoped that Ma- 
dame de Cosse vv'ould still continue to hold the position 
which the princess sought. Now, let us leave the 
empress and Mercy to exchange their hopes and fears, 
and for a while turn to the family of the princess, 
which came to Paris in the early part of June, as we 
see by the " Gazette de France " : 

" The Prince de Carignan with his sons, Prince 
Victor and Prince Eugene, who have been travelling 
under the names of the Marquis de Marene, Comte de 
Salussole, and Comte de Villefranche, were presented 
on the same day by Comte de Viry, court ambassador 
from Sardinia, to the king, the queen, and the royal 
family. They were introduced by Lord La Live de 
la Briche, court presenter." 

For some time the princess had wished to establish 
one of her brothers in France, and, prevailing upon her 
friendship with the queen, she at last obtained the 
promise that her desire should be fulfilled. The 
Countess d'Artois also used her influence in bringing 
this about. 

Marie Therese, on the other hand, blamed her 



daughter's "enthusiasm" in favoring the establish- 
ment of the young Prince de Carignan, fearing that 
he would strengthen the Piedmont party, which was 
already sufficiently numerous. 

In the meantime, after some remonstrance which he 
thought it was his duty to offer on this subject, Mercy 
did not hesitate to draw the queen's attention to the 
growing power of this party. Marie Antoinette knew 
that he was right, but excused herself by saying that 
" she had not been able to blind herself to her personal 
feelings," which for the future she promised to resist. 

This appointment was refused by the ministers, but, 
thanks to the queen, was obtained through the usual 
complaisance of the king. So Marie Antoinette could 
announce the joyful news to her friend, and thus prove 
to her that absence had not altered her feelings. 

Without consulting his ministers the king granted 
to the princess's brother thirty thousand livres income 
and the command of a regiment of national infantry. 
The object of the journey of the Princes de Carignan 
was merely to present the young colonel and to thank 
the royal family. 

Meanwhile, the coronation took place at Reims. 
Notwithstanding our investigation, we have not been 
able to find any mention of the princess at the fetes 
given at this time. We presume that she spent the 
time with her sister-in-law, who shortly after gave 
birth to the Due de Montpensier, and that, as soon as 
the duchess had sufficiently recovered, the two prin- 



cesses retired to Anet, to be with the Due de Pen- 
thievre. A courier was despatched to the Due de 
Chartres with news of this birth. 

Now to go back to the argus-eyed empress and the 
indefatigable Mercy, who was all eyes and ears in 
order to satisfy the smallest wish of Marie Therese. 
He well knew how to flatter her by telling her every 
detail, every smallest action, every peccadillo of the 
queen's. We left the empress satisfied in the belief 
that Madame de Cosse no longer thought of retiring 
from court; but the time had come for Mercy to dis- 
abuse her and to admit to her that, since her return 
from Reims, Madame de Cosse had begged the queen 
to dismiss her, both on account of her own health and 
that of her son. 

Then, more explicit still, he announces definitely 
the departure of the Comtesse de Noailles, and in spite 
of his efforts at diplomacy, the secret appointment of 
the princess. In order to make the best of his failure, 
and to avoid the reproaches of his mistress for his lack 
of foresight, he adds that, in spite of Madame de Lam- 
balle's youth, " it remains to be seen if in her new 
position she will preserve the sweet and simple dispo- 
sition she has shown until now." 

In her letter to the Comte de Rosenberg, Marie An- 
toinette is less positive. In speaking of the changes in 
her household caused by the retirement of Madame de 
Cosse and the Marechale de Mouchy, she hints lightly 
at the fact of her having asked the king for Madame 



de Lamballe. ' ' Judge of my delight, ' ' she continues ; 
" I shall make my intimate friend happy, and I myself 
shall be even happier than she." She recommends 
the strictest silence as to the news, so far as the em- 
press is concerned. " The emperor alone knows it. 
Beg him not to mention it, for you know what the 
consequences would be." Taken unawares, Mercy 
resigned himself to advising the queen ; but he saw 
that promises had been exchanged. Then he turned 
to the empress, and persisting in his original state- 
ments told her that " he finds that the arrangement is 
of no help to him and may even harm him." Finally, 
as a climax to his efforts at consolation, he says that 
Madame de Lamballe has lost much of her favor with 
the queen, whose friendship vacillates between the 
Comtesse de Dillon and the Comtesse de Polignac." 
He admits, however, that the latter is, without doubt, 
the favorite. Mercy is charming at this point: 
"These various friendships are causing much trou- 
ble and inconvenience." All this is very plausi- 
ble. While the scheming and corresponding about 
Madame de Lamballe was going on, the latter 
was travelling in Holland with the Duchesse de 
Chartres. " A most delightful trip," says Madame 
de Genlis." 

Fearing that her mother might make trouble for her, 
Marie Antoinette did not tell her of the changes she 
was making in her household until the 15th of Sep- 
tember — that is, three days before the official nomina- 



tion. In this way all interference was impossible on 
the part of the empress, who was strongly opposed 
to her daughter's plans. In this letter, in order to 
save herself trouble, the queen did not refer to all 
the difficulties she had had to surmount. These 
she passed over in silence, as she did the opposition 
of the ministers and that of the king himself. She 
wrote merely that the king had given her the super- 
intendent of her choice. Taking the bull by the 
horns, she says : 

" I hope that what my dear mother hears of Mad- 
ame de Lamballe will convince her that there is abso- 
lutely nothing to fear from the latter's association with 
my sister-in-law. Her reputation has always been 
good, and she has nothing of the Italian in her. She, 
as well as her brother, are settled here for life. I 
trust they will both feel that France is now their 

Marie Therese was always incredulous, but was re- 
assured about Madame de Lamballe by Monsieur de 
Breteuil, who ' ' greatly praised the good traits of the 
princess." Even Mercy himself found that this praise 
conformed to his own ideas. But he made certain 
qualifications, saying that it was easy for people to 
hold favorable opinions about one who so lately had 
attained a position at court. 

The princess was appointed on September i6th, and 
took the oath on the i8th. We publish in full the 
official certificate of her appointment : 



" Provisions for the Superintendent of the Royal Household^ 
Madame la Princesse de Lamballe : 

" Louis, by the grace of God, King of France and 
of Navarre, to all who read this : Greeting. 

" The queen, our very dear consort and companion, 
having made known to us her wish that our very dear 
and well-loved cousin, the Princesse de Lamballe, should 
be appointed to the position and the office of chief ad- 
viser and superintendent of the royal household, our 
love for the aforesaid queen and our recognition of the 
admirable qualities of our cousin have induced us to 
defer to her wishes. Moved by these causes and by 
other important considerations, we have given and 
granted, and by this present letter, signed by our hand, we 
do give and grant to our very dear and well-loved cousin, 
Marie Therese Louise de Savoie Carignan, widow of 
our very dear and well-loved cousin, the Prince de 
Lamballe, the position and office of chief adviser and 
superintendent of the royal household, in order that our 
aforesaid cousin may have, hold, and exercise the same, 
enjoy and make use of the honors, power, func- 
tions, authority, privileges, prerogatives, and distinc- 
tions which appertain thereto, to the same degree and 
in the same manner as the late Mademoiselle de Cler- 
mont * enjoyed, or had a right to enjoy them, to- 
gether with the revenues, conditions, maintenance, 
allowance, decorations, and other rights, revenues, and 
emoluments appertaining thereto in the court of the 
aforesaid queen, be the same herein particularly speci- 
fied or not, and this to continue during our royal 

" We notify our very dear and well-beloved cousin, 
the Sire Comte de Saulx, chevalier of our orders, and 
gentleman-in-waiting to the aforesaid queen, the first 



master-in-ordinary and quartermaster in her hotel, the 
controllers-general of her house, and all others whom 
it may concern, that after our aforesaid cousin shall 
have taken the required oath from the hands of the 
aforesaid queen, they will cause to be registered this 
letter, the documents in her mansion and apartments, 
and the revenues, that our said lady cousin may fully 
and peacefully enjoy the privileges thereof, and we de- 
sire the aforesaid persons to obey her in all things and 
to see to it that all concerned may understand the na- 
ture of the above appointment. 

* ' We notify, also, the treasurer-general of the house- 
hold of the aforesaid queen, that the said position, 
remunerations, maintenance, and other rights shall be 
paid to her at the next term and in the usual manner, 
following the orders which shall be despatched in re- 
gard thereto, on her simple receipts, and that they shall 
return this present letter, or a copy thereof, duly certi- 
fied once only; and that all that will have been paid 
to her on this occasion shall be passed on and allowed 
in the expenses of these accounts by our beloved and 
faithful councillors. 

' ' The keepers of our accounts at Paris are ordered 
to do this without question, for such is our pleasure, 
in witness whereof we have caused our seal to be put 
to these presents. 

" Given at Versailles, i6th day of September, the 
year of grace 1775, and of our reign the second." 

The love with which, by her sweetness of temper and 

her beauty, the gentle princess had inspired the Bretons 

during her stay at Rennes, was still so great that the 

Estates decided to extend to her their warmest congratu- 

4 49 


lations upon her appointment as superintendent of the 

royal household. 

This is her reply : 

" Paris, October 8, 1773. 

"Gentlemen: I greatly appreciate the mark of 
attention you have shown me concerning my appoint- 
ment to the position of superintendent of the royal 
household. I beg you to accept my thanks. The 
province of Brittany would not be doing me justice 
if it doubted my feelings for it. I shall always de- 
sire to give it proof of my sentiments. I beg you, 
gentlemen, to believe the sincere esteem I have for 

(Signed) " M. L. F. de Savoye. 

" To the Delegates of the Estates of Brittany." 



As soon as the matter of superintendent had been set- 
tled, Mercy, 1 who already in his letter of September 
1 8th had hinted to the empress as to the difficulties 
which would result from it, considering the fact that 
" nothing had been decided or determined on, either 
as to the amount of the salary or the degree of author- 
ity she was to exercise over the royal household," 
again expressed his fears as to the trouble and quarrels 
which the continuation of this position would entail. 
His first idea was to have a list of rules drawn up which 
should exactly define the nature of the position, and 
determine its rights and privileges. The Abbe de Ver- 
mond " was careful to make a very simple and clear 
statement, which, because of the suppression of certain 
abuses and expenditures, would without doubt be ap- 
proved by the ministry. The queen was pleased to ac- 
cept it, and with her own hand added a recommendation. 
Unfortunately, it lost its good qualities in the light of 
day. The queen had not the necessary strength to 
impose her wishes, and the result was that Madame de 
Lamballe "gently and tearfully" told her that the 
Due de Penthievre refused to have her accept a posi- 
tion which seemed " to have forfeited a part of its 



ancient prerogatives." Furthermore, the princess 
threatened to resign from the position " if it were not 
made just as it used to be." 

Our unfortunate ambassador had not yet finished 
with his trouble. For, although the question of salary 
had not been raised, the superintendent evidently 
meant that hers should be the same as that of Made- 
moiselle de Bourbon. And, in Mercy's opinion, it 
was far from likely, not to say well-nigh impossible, 
that the ministry, bent on being economical, would 
grant her fifty thousand crowns. 

However, in spite of everything, the princess re- 
ceived the salary which had originally been determined 
on, and the king, unable to refuse the queen anything, 
signed the order with no apparent objection.' 

" Order for fifty thousand crowns salary for Madame la 
Princesse de Lamballe : 
"To-day, the 20th October, 1775. The king, 
being at Fontainebleau, having chosen Madame la 
Princesse de Lamballe to fill the position of super- 
intendent of the royal household, his Majesty wishes 
at the same time to make known the esteem and 
special affection with which the queen honors her, by 
granting to the aforesaid Princesse de Lamballe the 
means to support herself in this important position 
with the dignity suitable to a princess of her rank. 
To this end his Majesty has declared, and does now 
declare, wish, and intend that, beginning with the first 
of last September, Madame la Princesse de Lamballe 
shall enjoy, as superintendent of the royal household, 
apart from a salary which is due her from the royal 



estate, so long as she shall occupy the aforesaid posi- 
tion, the sum of fifty thousand crowns, to be paid an- 
nually on her simple receipts without any deductions 
now or in future; the sum to be set aside for this pur- 
pose by the keeper of the royal treasury, now and in 
future, according to the conditions or directions which 
shall be drawn up concerning it, without, however, 
the granting of this favor, which is a personal one to 
the Princesse de Lamballe, to those who may succeed 
her in the aforesaid position ; and, as a pledge of his 
will, his Majesty has signed with his own hand the 
present document, and has ordered it countersigned 
by his secretary of state and of the fiscal board." 

With this warrant for the position of superintendent, 
Madame de Lamballe reached the highest point in her 
career. We are about to see her for a time in the ful- 
ness of favor. Then, by one of those phenomena so 
often seen in court life, she will enter on her downward 
path. Before the favorite friend of the queen there 
arose suddenly an ambitious rival. In short, Madame 
de Polignac is about to appear. 

But we have not yet reached that point. Let us 
leave the princess to enjoy unreservedly the brilliant 
days she had yet to pass with her august mistress. 

" The queen," says Bachaumont, "has the great- 
est friendship for the young princess, who is perfectly 
congenial to her. It is known that her Majesty often 
makes up parties with her to the Petit Trianon or Petit 
Vienne, and that she admits to her suite only a few 
ladies and no man. There she abandons herself to all 
the innocent follies of her age." 



This sojourn in the Trianon inspired also various 
kindly acts on the part of the queen. We are glad to 
note the following: 

*' I shall induce her to come, and, without any sus- 
picion on her part that we know all her love affairs, we 
will soften her woes, lessen her anxiety for her mother, 
and, if it seem wise, speak to the king of our beautiful 
marriage project for this dear child. Let her come all 
alone, and we shall enjoy the pleasure of compensating 
her later. The happiness of others does some good 
everywhere, but it seems to me that it is still greater 
among the surroundings of simple nature, far from the 
noise in which we are condemned to live." 

It was the fashion of the times to find recreation 
without the society of men. Apropos of this we 
might well relate an incident which happened to the 
Duchesse de Chartres and the Princesse de Lamballe 
at the home of the Duchesse de Bourbon, where, by a 
trick which disarmed the anger of the ladies, the Due 
de Chartres, with inordinate curiosity, succeeded, in 
company with some friends, in obtruding himself upon 
their cosy gathering of women. 

As we have already stated, Madame de Lamballe 
was especially fond of outdoor fetes, small parties at 
which she could do and say what she pleased. But, 
for all that, there was no lack of official functions, for 
the " Gazette de France" mentions her presence at 
a ball in the hall in which plays were given on the 
occasion of the marriage of the king's sister. 



One day she and her royal friend set out to walk to 
Sceaux, and as nothing escaped the vigilant eye of the 
" parish," Bachaumont is careful to note on his tab- 
lets: " Her Majesty finally went to Sceaux with the 
Princesse de Lamballe, and spent the day there alone 
with her." Another time the court was to pass a few 
days at Choisy before the removal from Fontainebleau. 
In the first place, there happened to the two friends 
one of those adventures which, although tragic for an 
instant, had no serious results, and to which, for that 
matter, the princess will henceforth accustom us. 

' ' At Choisy, ' ' says Mercy, * ' the queen planned a sail 
on the river. Up to that point nothing had occurred. 
But some bargemen, seeing the gondoliers from afar, 
plunged into the river in token of their joy. Think- 
ing that the imprudent men were drowning, the queen 
became ill, and was the indirect cause of the princess's 
fainting. Both women were promptly attended to, 
and recovered quickly enough to avoid any serious 

A similar adventure happened to the princess when 
she was at Fontainebleau, sailing on the lake. Metra 
describes the incident to us : 

" The queen experienced an accident which showed 
how she was loved. She was sailing in one of her 
gondolas; a window fell in, hit the queen, and caused 
a slight bruise on the arm of the Princesse de Lam- 
balle, who fainted. However, thanks to a bleed- 
ing, all evil consequences were avoided, and the prin- 



cess discovered how dear she was to our queen, who 
showed the most tender solicitude for her. " 

It was about this time that Baculard d'Arnaud dedi- 
cated to Madame de Lamballe his well-known lines 
accompanying a copy of the " Epreuves du Senti- 
ment " : 

In a few faithful touches, 

Unspoiled by flatterer's art, 
Both sentiment and nature 

I deftly could impart. 
If my brush, bold to venture, 
Should try (Apelles' shade !) 
To paint most perfect beauty, 
I know the model maid. 

Every proof of friendship which Madame de Lam- 
balle received from the queen led her, if we are to 
believe Mercy, to attempt to impose a little too much 
on her Majesty's good will. Thus, on the separation 
of the Comte and Comtesse de La Marche, is it not 
curious to see her greatly occupied in having "the 
countess given the pension of a princess of the 
blood," which usually was granted only to widows, 
and only on the pleasure of the king \ 

By her efforts the princess was on the point of 
accomplishing the undertaking. The king hesitated, 
and finally almost consented. But Mercy was there 
on the watch, and he soon convinced the queen how 
impolitic it would be for her to yield to such a de- 
mand. Marie Antoinette, it seems, admitted that she 
realized the danger, but dared not oppose her friend. 



In the face of such an admission, Mercy made a posi- 
tive accusation. 

" I have proved," says he, " that the Princesse de 
Lamballe costs the state annually more than one hun- 
dred thousand crowns, including the salary her brother 
obtains here, and the number of additional expenses 
caused by the revival of the position of superintendent, 
and that the object of these wholly useless expenses is 
merely to satisfy an affection of the queen for one for 
whom she wishes to procure a brilliant and useful posi- 
tion. But this same person should be circumspect 
enough not to take advantage of the kindness of the 
queen, especially on occasions which in no wise affect 
this superintendent, who exceeds her duties by solicit- 
ing favors manifestly contrary to the true service of 
her sovereign, bringing upon herself the odium of 
making people believe that her credit is used only to 
effect superfluous expenditures." 

" All my remonstrances," he continued, " have not 
prevented the queen from almost yielding several times 
to the reiterated importunities of the Princesse de 
Lamballe; and yet I have succeeded in so far as 
her Majesty is still undecided, and at least there will 
result the advantage of making her see to what 
point one may go in abusing her kindness and gen- 

In a letter to her mother Marie Antoinette appears 
to be defending herself and says : 

" I could not refuse the petition made for the Com- 
tesse de La Marche, but I have spoken only once of 
it, and have made no great point of it. ' ' 



In spite of his every effort, Mercy was obliged to 
admit that the Comtesse de La Marche would have 
the pension; but he tried to prove that the influence 
of the queen would avail nothing in the matter. 

The intrigues with which Mercy concerned him- 
self, and which he carefully records, have carried us 
somewhat away from our subject. Let us now return 
to it. 

As soon as she was appointed superintendent, the 
princess took possession of a dwelling reserved for the 
holder of that position. At first she occupied an apart- 
ment on the first floor of the south wing, facing the 
Rue de la Surintendance, consisting of twelve rooms, 
which later she was to give up to the Comtesse de 
Provence. Then she occupied the four rooms on the 
ground floor of the Pavilion d' Orleans, below the 
apartments of the Due de Chartres, Louis Philippe. 
At the same time she had an apartment of twelve 
rooms and a suite above the ground floor on the Rue 
de la Surintendance. 

It was considered fashionable to live outside the 
chateau when one's term of service had expired, perhaps 
because, as Madame Campan tells us, * ' one felt at 
home only when in the simplest dwelling, ornamented 
with English gardens." The princess wished to have 
her private house and bought from her father-in-law 
the Hotel du Maine, which was situated by the side 
of that of the Due de Penthievre, and for which she 
paid seventy thousand livres. 



It was the beginning of a new year. Was it to be 
as exciting and as full of pleasure as the preceding ? 

This seemed likely, for they were preparing to dance 
at court. Long ago Bachaumont tells us : 

" The balls of Versailles are to begin again the 4th 
of next January. They will be held at Madame de 
Lamballe's, which fact will make them less formal. 
The queen will dance and sup with whomsoever she 

The same writer tells us also that the Due de Char- 
tres gave a superb ball, at which the queen caused a 
sensation on account of a plume so high that it had to 
be considerably lowered before she could step into her 

Bachaumont, who writes somewhat wrongly and at 
random the reports in circulation, is incorrect in his 
premature announcement of the receptions of the Prin- 
cesse de Lamballe, for we read of Mercy's complain- 
ing because the superintendent did not give balls to the 
queen and the royal family. 

" The Princesse de Lamballe," he adds, " gave up 
this advantage in order to avoid a small matter of eti- 
quette, in accordance with which the princesses of 
the blood do not issue written or verbal invitations to 
their homes. Their method is to announce that they 
may be seen at a certain time, and their ladies-in-waiting 
then invite those on their visiting-lists." 

All these annoyances wearied the queen, who already 
-had enough cause of discontent against the princess. At 



first it was her love of ceremony, to the observation of 
which she strictly adhered. This caused Mercy to say : 

" If the Princesse de Lamballe does not calculate 
more exactly in future, it is probable that the favor 
she enjoys, which seems to be somewhat diminishing, 
will die away in the long run." 

In fact, her blindness was such that, instead of les- 
sening the number of her claims, she increased them, 
and she was so eager and so haughty in defending 
these, that a part of the royal household rebelled against 
her despotism. Then Marie Antoinette, wearied by 
all the complaints and the interminable dissensions 
which she was called on to settle, and which interfered 
with the duties of the superintendent, ended, according 
to the predictions of the ambassador of the empress, by 
becoming out of patience with her friend, and almost 
regretted having revived the position of superintendent; 
the more so, as the jealousy of the two favorites was a 
constant source of private quarrels, which caused the 
princess and Madame de Polignac to offer to the 
queen petty slights under cover of the tenderest possible 

In spite of all this trouble, was not Mercy somewhat 
hard on the princess when he wrote that she had lost 
much of the favor to which, according to him, her abil- 
ities gave her no claim .'' 

' ' I think that she will always be treated well by the 
queen, but there is no longer any intimacy between 



them, and her Majesty realizes that the superintendent 
has not sufficient depth to share her thoughts." 

At first Mercy thought Madame de Lamballe more 
dangerous than Madame de Polignac; but afterwards 
he hesitated, and finally followed the wisest course — 
namely, he pitted against each other the two influences, 
thus maintaining equilibrium. Afterwards our clever 
diplomat returns to the question of the princess, find- 
ing the influence of Madame de Polignac not to be 
trusted. In this he was not deceived, for all the mem- 
bers of the latter family pushed themselves forward, one 
by one, and strove to find positions for one another, as 
is shown by the " Gazette de France " : 

" June 23d, Comte Jules de Polignac, camp master 
and lieutenant of the royal guards, has had the honor 
to be presented to the king by the Due de Fleury, first 
gentleman-in-waiting of the chamber, and to acknowl- 
edge his thanks to his Majesty for the position of first 
equerry to the queen on the reversion of the office of 
the Comte de Tesse, of which the king wished greatly 
to give him the advantage. 

" The following day Comte Jules de Polignac had 
the honor of taking from the hands of the queen the 
oath of first equerry." 

One day in the midst of his confidence in the wan- 
ing of the favor of Madame de Lamballe, Mercy was 
greatly surprised to see how much the queen was 
affected on hearing that the former was ill at Plom- 




"This accident," said he, "awakened all the 
queen's affection for her superintendent." He in- 
genuously admits that he had not supposed their affec- 
tion was so deep. He seems to retrace his steps, but 
not very far, for he at once begins to prognosticate 
' ' the waning of the influence of the Princesse de Lam- 
balle, and although she has her disadvantages," he 
fears still more " Madame de Polignac, who is more 
dangerous on account of her appearance and her 

In her reply to her impetuous ambassador, Marie 
Therese is of the opinion that the princess deserves 
" more attention because of the resources she finds in 
the Piedmontese party." 

From afar the empress is a better judge of the situ- 
ation. For the rest, Bachaumont tells us that Mercy 
has in mind many occupations which may well influ- 
ence his judgment, among them " his connection with 
Mademoiselle Rosalie of the opera, for whom he has 
conceived a violent passion. Although she is ugly, 
she is rather lively, and gifted with a certain amount 
of talent, and he permits her henceforth to call her- 
self the Baroness de , with a barony of from 

twenty thousand to twenty-five thousand income." 

At this time Madame de Lamballe was in very poor 
health, which fact caused her " frequently to be absent 
from court." Her nerves were extremely irritable, 
and made her disposition uneven and often disagreeable. 
Moreover, her constant fainting spells continued, and 



were produced by the slightest cause. Every year the 
poor woman was obliged to go to watering-places for 
six weeks or two months in order to recuperate. 
Mercy announces her departure in May for Plombieres 
or Vichy, but the journey did not actually take place 
until June 7th, when the Duchesse de Chartres was 
travelling in Italy under the name of the Comtesse de 
Joinville. It was during this sojourn at Plombieres 
that the princess was attacked with the measles, where- 
upon the queen ' ' became so extremely anxious and 
alarmed " that Mercy's eyes were opened. 

In his " Memoirs," Lauzun confirms the anxiety 
of the queen at this time. Entrusted with a large 
package of letters addressed to the princess, he joined 
her at Plombieres, where he found her sufficiently re- 
covered to reply to the voluminous letters from her 

The stay of the princess at Plombieres lasted until 
the end of August, according to the " Gazette de 
France," from which we borrow the following inter- 
esting details : 

' ' They write from Nancy that the Princesse de 
Lamballe, who left for Plombieres the 7th of last 
June, appeared in this city the 26th of August on her 
return from the watering-place. A detachment of the 
Company of La Rochefoucault Dragoons met her. 
As she entered the town the royal troops formed a 
double line from the Porte Saint Nicolas to the gov- 
ernment buildings, where she stepped from her car- 
riage. The princess received the compliments of Par- 



liament, of the Chamber of Deputies, of the Primatical 
Chapter of the University, and of the city troops. 
After dinner she walked through a part of the town, 
and about six o'clock left to spend the night at Toul. 
She expects to reach Versailles the 28th." 

On the 13th, the same paper tells us that in passing 
through a hamlet near Saint Dizier, the chaplain of 
Prince Charles de Lorraine paid his respects to the 
princess by presenting her with a copy of " L'Histoire 
de Lorraine," which she deigned to accept with 

After an absence of almost three months, Madame 
de Lamballe expected to find some change at court. 
So she was not greatly surprised at the progress of the 
favor won by Madame de Polignac. The husband of 
this latter lady had just obtained the reversion of Comte 
de Tesse, a signal favor to which Mercy had been op- 
posed. Full of anger at the failure of his opposition, 
he was not afraid to draw a far from flattering picture 
of Monsieur de Polignac, finding that his one grade of 
colonel, his twenty-eight years, and his lack of wit 
were not sufficient claims for the position. The 
more so as, according to custom, it was usual for the 
incumbent to present his reversioner, a formality which 
in the present case had been wholly neglected. The 
Noailles ' were on the verge of becoming dazzled, for 
Monsieur de Tesse was the son-in-law of the marshal. 

As always, the remonstrances of the ambassador 
were without effect. The queen had gone too far to 



draw back. The real object of her thoughts was else- 
where. What, in short, would Madame de Lamballe 
say ? Resolved not to dispense with her entirely, 
Marie Antoinette received, without great difficulty, 
and even supported, the demand of this princess in 
favor of the Due de Chartres for the government of 
Poitou, left vacant by the death of the Prince de Bour- 
bon-Conti.' "This request," adds Mercy, "was 
made by letter, the Princesse de Lamballe still being 
at Plombieres. " The constant care of the queen to 
divide the favors equally might, up to a certain point, 
make one suppose that there was at least a temporary 
truce between the two favorites. But such was not 
the case, for the jealousy of Madame de Lamballe 
showed itself immediately on her return. Mercy, who 
really took no side in the matter, profited by the occa- 
sion to malign Madame de Polignac, and describes her 
as " a young woman who has no position at court, a 
rather dubious reputation, and not much sense." 
Finally, reviewing the expense necessitated by these 
two ladies, he says that Madame de Polignac costs less 
than the other. 

If the princess was jealous, the Comtesse de Polignac 
strove to " destroy her rival," and to bring this about 
by little respectful and tender complaints, demonstra- 
tions of anxiety and grief, and by dwelling on the petty 
acts of ridicule attributed to Madame de Lamballe. 
She almost succeeded in her attempts, and the queen 
was on the point of becoming angry with the super- 
5 65 


intendent, as the result of a " slightly annoying inci- 
dent." However, during the sojourn at Fontainebleau, 
the queen preferred the soirees of the Princesse de 
Lamballe to all other amusement, and Mercy com- 
plains bitterly of this because of the intriguers who 
curried favor there and the card-playing for which the 
queen seemed to have too great a predilection. 

In the month of December the balls began again, 
but they were less frequent. However, the general 
complaint was about the small number of hospitable 
houses. If we believe our guide, who constantly fills 
in gaps, the real reason for the lack of eagerness with 
which the court attended these receptions was that 
" the superintendent, because of her punctiliousness, 
and still more because of her slight knowledge of the 
world, attracts few people to her." It seems even, 
according to Mercy, that, on account of improvements 
which were being made in her apartments, Madame de 
Lamballe thought it best not to receive; but, on very 
just representations made to the queen, the latter desired 
her to " give suppers on the few days on which there 
were balls." 

The conclusion drawn by Mercy from all these 
private troubles is not to the advantage of the princess, 
who, according to him, " will end by becoming un- 
necessary, perhaps even wearisome, to the queen. ' ' 



In order to follow each step of the private life of the 
court, let us turn from Mercy for a moment, leaving 
him to engage at will in his investigations, which we 
will take up later, and let us occupy ourselves with 
the events of the year 1777. 

In January, the Due and the Duchesse des Deux 
Fonts arrived in Paris under the name of the Comte 
and Comtesse de Sponheim. They were received 
without ceremony, although the duchess, born Prin- 
cesse de Saxe, was first cousin to the king. They went 
to the apartments of the princes and princesses, after 
having informed them by note of their arrival. Fol- 
lowing are the two letters written by their chamber- 
lains, regarding a proposed visit to Madame de Lam- 

" Madame la Comtesse de Sponheim arrived, with 
Madame la Comtesse d'Esbach, at the Hotel d'Yorck, 
Rue Jacob, and had the honor of seeing Madame de 
Lascaze, and asking her what day she might pay her 
respects to Madame la Princesse de Lamballe. 

" Monsieur le Comte de Sponheim arrived, as well 
as the Baron de Geiting, Chamberlain of Monsieur le 
Due des Deux Fonts, begged the honor of seeing 
Madame la Marquise de Lascaze, and asked her to be 



good enough to set a day when he could be presented 
to Madame la Princesse de Lamballe." 

On the 30th of January, the Due de Chartres gave 
a magnificent fete, at which the queen was present, 
and whence she could watch the masked ball of the 
Opera. This prince was so pleased with the attention 
of the queen that the following day the "Journal de 
Paris" inserted this notice: 

"At twelve o'clock last night, his highness Mon- 
seigneur le Due de Chartres gave a ball at the Palais 
Royal to which the queen and the royal family were 

A few days later, Bachaumont tells us the queen took 
supper with the superintendent, and he describes to 
us the ennui she felt there : 

" Last Thursday, the queen took supper with the 
Princesse de Lamballe, where there were present twelve 
ladies, but not a single man. Apparently this greatly 
wearied her Majesty, who hastened to don her ball 
gown (that of a sultana), and set out for the Palais 

Thus the queen, no doubt somewhat disillusioned, 
ceased to attend the fetes of her intimate friend, who 
no longer had the faculty of entertaining her. It is 
true, according to Mercy, that the princess took ad- 
vantage of every opportunity to obtain from Marie 
Antoinette some fresh mark of favor, -and this, in the 



long run, wearied the queen, and not only dispelled her 
illusions, but spoiled her pleasure as well. 

" The princess," he writes, " having given herself 
needless troubles and anxiety, is beginning to look 
more calmly at the advantage gained by her rival. 
This superintendent tries to gain compensation by 
obtaining for herself and her relatives small favors 
which are often a strain on the kindness and the pro- 
tection of the queen." 

We next see the princess, in company with her 
Majesty, taking part in the religious ceremonies of 
Easter. But the principal event of that time, which 
has to do more especially with Marie Antoinette, was 
the arrival of her brother, Joseph II.,' in Paris, under 
the name of the Comte de Falkenstein. Marie 
Antoinette wished this prince to be received with all 
possible honor. So in order to have an excuse to go 
to meet Joseph II. she induced the king to arrange 
a hunting party for the i8th of April, in the Forest 
of Bondi. " The queen," says Bachaumont, " drove 
through Paris with fourteen carriages. ' ' Unfortunately, 
the weather was frightful. The rain and the wind were 
incessant, and, as the carriages were open, ' ' all the 
hats, in the style of Henry IV., and the plumes were 
soaked, blown topsy-turvy, and completely ruined." 
" This confusion," he continues, " made the queen 
laugh, and greatly amused her." 

Marie Antoinette's brother arrived on Friday, the 
1 8th of April, and did not leave until the 2ist of May. 



Wishing to preserve the strictest incognito, Joseph IL 
had refused to stay in the Chateau. " Be kind enough," 
he wrote Mercy a few days previous to his departure 
from Vienna, " to secure a couple of rooms for me in 
Versailles. ' ' 

Realizing the interest attached to the prince's trip 
to France, Mercy was careful to keep a detailed account 
of the engagements, visits, and plans made by Joseph, 
of the general impression produced by him, and of the 
probable results. All these points are contained in his 
letter to Marie Therese, dated June i 5th. 

On the 22d of April, it seems, the prince dined at 
the Trianon. He had a long talk with the queen, and 
did not hide from her the fact that Madame de Lam- 
balle had greatly displeased him. " The queen admitted 
that, through her infatuation, she had been deceived in 
her favorite, and that she was beginning to repent 
having placed her in such a position." 

The confidant of Marie Therese maintained that 
Joseph II. received no one in Paris, and that people 
came to him " all day long " to beg an interview and ask 
for an audience. More fortunate than he, or rather dis- 
posed to hide nothing, we can easily rectify his account, 
for the National Archives possess a few documents rela- 
tive to the journey of Joseph II. , from which we quote 
the following passages, appertaining to our subject : 

" Monday, 12th of May, the Princesse de Conti, 
Madame de Lamballe, and the Due de Penthievre 
called on His Majesty. 



" The Due de Chartres went there before leaving 
for Holland." 

So, while Mercy says simply in the aforesaid letter: 
" On the afternoon of May 22d the emperor went to 
see the house of the Due de Penthievre at Sceaux; 
he retired early," we find some new documents which 
show that the reception of the Due de Penthievre had 
not the essentially simple character which Mercy would 
have liked to attribute to it. 

' ' The Comte de Falkenstein went to Sceaux Thurs- 
day, the 22d of May, and walked through the gardens. 

"Madame la Duchesse de Chartres, Madame la 
Princesse de Conti, and Madame de Lamballe were at 
Sceaux, but, instead of walking, they played the game 
of eavagnole. " 

Fortaire tells us, in regard to this visit, that "Joseph 
II. arrived after dinner, because he had not accepted 
an invitation to dine." The afternoon was spent by 
all in " visiting and sight-seeing." 

The emperor took leave of his sister the 30th of 
May. Both were deeply affected. The queen even 
had a nervous attack, and spent the following day at 
the Petit-Trianon with a small suite, consisting only 
of Madame de Lamballe, the Comtesse de Polignac, 
and one lady from the palace. 

As she had done the previous year, the princess 
went to Plombieres, and did" not return before the end 
of August. The queen received her with great demon- 



stration of kindness, which, however, did not deceive 
Mercy, who saw in it only a "matter of courtesy." 
During her sojourn at the court at Fontainebleau, 
Madame de Lamballe accompanied the queen " regu- 
larly " to the theatre. " On rare occasions " she still 
received Marie Antoinette, " who almost always spent 
the day with Madame de Polignac " in the fortress near 
the apartments of the queen. 

Gambling was indulged in to excess, " from fear of 
growing bored," and the queen consecrated a part 
of the night of November 3d to it in the apartments of 
the princess. 

Mercy, who constantly made entries in his diary in 
regard to the queen, and who, when necessary, incited 
the gossip of people more or less informed, was able 
to appreciate the exact degree of whatever favor or dis- 
favor was shown to Madame de Lamballe ; while the 
public, posted as to court affairs only by the official 
bulletins, continued to bow before her high position, 
and daily addressed lines or dedicated some new work 
to her. One day it was the Chevalier de Prunay, 
captain of the Grenadiers, who sought her protection 
for the "Grammaire des Dames," a work designed, in 
the words of the author, "to render easy for young 
persons the knowledge of the principles of the French 
language," etc.; later, it was Monsieur de Fabre, "a 
young poet, who has as yet published nothing," says 
Metra, " but who has just made his debut on Parnassus 
by an erotic poem, in four stanzas, entitled: 'Les 



Quatre Heures de la Toilette des Dames ' " — " a mag- 
nificent work," he continues, " embellished with every 
ornament of pen and typography." They gambled 
three times a week in the queen's apartments, and 
" occasionally at the Princesse de Lamballe's," writes 
Mercy, Seeming always to take pleasure in telling 
the empress of the petty scenes of jealousy on the 
part of the princess, he continues : 

* ' The queen often feels some embarrassment in 
maintaining an appearance of harmony between the 
Princesse de Lamballe and the Comtesse de Polignac, 
As the favor of the latter increases, that of the former 
decreases, so that, finally, she is becoming distasteful 
and wearisome to the queen. However, as it is best 
not to show this change of feeling too openly, the 
queen submits to being bored, and now and then spends 
with the Princesse de Lamballe hours which are very 
painful to her Majesty." 

Let us not leave the month of January without 
referring to an incident in which Paris and the entire 
court was interested. 

" The queen," says Metra, " with the Princesse de 
Lamballe and Madame, went incognito to the late ball 
at the Opera in Paris, dressed like an Amazon. Eight 
other ladies were in dominoes. Her Majesty having 
noticed a very lively mask, accosted it, and said : 
' Who are you, handsome mask ? ' ' Your subject, 
beautiful Amazon,' replied the latter, removing his 
mask. It was the Comte d'Artois," who had changed 
his disguise." 



The queen was eager for amusement, for Mercy 
wrote that some friends, whose names, however, he 
could not give, advised the princess to give balls, 
and not to leave to the other ladies of the court this 
means of pleasing the queen. This was one of the 
duties of the superintendent, but Madame de Lam- 
balle did nothing about it, on account of the trouble, 
and especially because of the expense it would entail. 
This is not the first time Mercy accuses her of avarice, 
but he attributes the fact of her disgrace to other causes, 
such as " the wearisome importunities caused by her 

Not content with this severe judgment, he becomes, 
in our opinion, still more unjust when he ventures to 
maintain that it was especially because the queen per- 
ceived the lack of affection her favorite had for her. 
This is a false imputation, which elsewhere he strives 
to palliate by saying : ' ' The natural goodness of the 
queen causes her still to hide somewhat her lack of 
affection ; but her Majesty cannot prevent herself 
from secretly being thoroughly disgusted with the 
superintendent, and from regretting having put her in 
a position for which she is so little fitted." 

It could no longer be doubted that Madame de Poli- 
gnac was the favorite. If Mercy rejoices at this, he 
lets Marie Therese puzzle over it. She confides to 
Mercy her anxiety as to the great intimacy with 
Madame de Polignac, who she knows is pledged to 
the Choiseul party. 



The first news of the queen's dehcate condition 
occupied Mercy sufficiently to permit him to lay aside 
for a time his tirades against the superintendent; but 
he was not yet wholly disarmed, and we find him 
writing : 

' ' The Princesse de Lamballe continues to lose more 
and more of the queen's favor, and it is fortunate that 
her Majesty's eyes are finally opened as to her super- 
intendent, who joins to a lack of wit several more 
serious faults, which until now the queen has not 

Disheartened by what she saw, and by all the plots 
against her, the princess made up her mind to go away. 
In company with the Duchesse de Chartres, she went 
to Holland, a trip which Madame de Genlis, usually 
accurate, places in 1775. Very naturally, Mercy does 
not approve of this departure. He even criticises it, and 
goes so far as to blame the conduct of the unfortunate 
princess, which he qualifies as "unbecoming," consid- 
ering the condition of the queen. He pretends to be 
sfcandalized by a resolution which he claims is the 
result of her " disguised ill-humor." But as for us, 
who have not the same reasons for hatred as Mercy, 
we frankly declare that, in our eyes, Madame de Lam- 
balle, unable to face the storm, showed herself, under 
the circumstances, wise and tactful. Only absence 
for a certain length of time could disarm her numerous 
enemies and bring back the calm which her health 



The rumor of an unexpected conflict between the 
superintendent and the Abbe de Vermond had, in the 
meanwhile, gained enough strength to reach the ears 
of the empress, who begged Mercy to keep her in- 
formed as to this new incident. The ambassador 
hastened to reply that the rumor, which one might 
have called " a report as absurd as false," had, indeed, 
been accredited; but that, in reality, there was no 
truth in it, since the queen still received her reader, 
and continued to show him as much confidence as 
deference; and that, in short, only the Abbe's care of 
" private affairs" kept him away from court for the 
time being. He added that the " so-called quarrel" 
was an " absurd report," which greatly amused the 
queen when she heard of it. However, he was careful 
not to omit his usual little note, full of spite about the 
princess, who " is only tolerated, and almost always with 

Mercy, who until now has accustomed us to the 
smallest details, had, no doubt, important reasons this 
time for hiding a part of the truth from Marie Therese ; 
but we who, not being influenced by any special motives, 
have not the same scruples, shall simply turn to Metra, 
sufficiently well informed on general subjects. Thanks 
to him, we know that the princess in some way offered 
to give up her position and hand in her resignation to 
the queen if the Abbe de Vermond did not go away; and 
that this step on the part of Madame de Lamballe had 
for a pretext the lack of deference to the established 



customs on the part of the queen's reader, who allowed 
himself to give up some memoirs before they had passed 
through the hands of the superintendent. That which, 
after all, might well have vexed Mercy was the necessity 
of admitting that Madame de Lamballe was justified by 
precedent, and that she would not see her rights trampled 
on. At the close of August, Madame de Polignac re- 
turned to her family and was taken ill there. Madame 
de Lamballe endeavored to take advantage of this to 
return to the good graces of the queen. It seems even, 
according to the statement of Mercy, that, with her 
** usual lack of tact," she merely bored the queen by 
asking impossible favors of her, such as " a part of the 
estate of Lorraine," with an " annual income of sixty 
thousand livres." Mercy found that it would be very 
embarrassing for Marie Antoinette to consent, and suc- 
ceeded in completely turning her from any such attempt. 

Nowhere else have we found the confirmation of this 
incident, and we should be inclined to believe that the 
untimely request of the princess was due to the inven- 
tive imagination of the grave diplomat, if ,we did not 
know that at another time Madame de Lamballe sent 
a petition to the king, asking the concession of the 
savannas of Leogane at Saint Domingo. 

Two great misfortunes happened, one after another, 
to Madame de Lamballe. 

To the loss of her mother, who had succumbed to 
a long illness, was added that of her father, who had 
been inconsolable. 



We quote from the " Gazette de France " : 

" Turin, September 2d. 

"Tuesday, the 31st of last month, Princesse Chris- 
tine Henriette de Hesse Rheinfels, wife of Louis Victor 
Amedee de Savoie, Prince de Carignan, died in this 
city, after a lingering and painful illness. She was born 
the 24th of November, 17 17." 

At this terrible affliction, Madame de Lamballe, in 
her grief, had, at least, the consolation of receiving from 
her friend the following tender letters, which the king 
himself had signed with his own hand : 

'* I have learned, with deep grief, my dear Lamballe, 
of the death of your mother. The king has come in, and 
wishes to add a few words: — One word, just one, 
madame and dear cousin, but it is from the depths 
of my heart. You know how much we love you. May 
God be with you." 

Not content with this mark of friendship to the prin- 
cess, the king and the queen ordered the Court to wear 

mourning for eleven days. 

" Turin, December 9th. 
" His Serene Highness, Prince Victor de Carignan, 
died in this city last Sunday (December 6th), in the 
fifty-seventh year of his age." 

The court again wore mourning for eleven days, 
Mercy, who is not lenient to the princess, writes, 
however, that, in spite of the news, received just as the 
queen was about to be confined, the superintendent did 
her duty, and " even fulfilled it promptly." 



He adds that Madame de Lamballe returned shortly 
after to Paris, to her father-in-law, where she remained 
" in retirement during the first days of her mourning." 
At the Hotel de Toulouse she received the visit of the 
king, who noted the fact in his diary: 

*' December 22, '78, visited Madame de Lamballe 
on the death of her father. ' ' 

This is short and uninteresting, but, fortunately, we 
have the "Gazette de France," which gives us fuller 

" On the 22d, after the mass of the king, his 
Majesty went to call on the Princesse de Lamballe, 
upon the death of her father, the Prince de Carignan. 
The Due d' Orleans, the Due de Chartres, the Du- 
chesse de Chartres, the Prince de Conde, the Due de 
Bourbon, the Duchesse de Bourbon, the Prince 
de Conti, the Princesse de Conti, Mademoiselle de 
Conde, and the Due de Penthievre were in the apart- 
ments of the princess and received his Majesty in the 
usual manner. Monsieur, Madame, Monseigneur le 
Comte d'Artois, Madame Elisabeth de France, Mad- 
ame Adelaide, Madame Victoire, and Madame Sophie 
de France came in later, and were received in the same 
way by the princes and princesses of the blood. 

" The same day, the Princesse de Lamballe returned 
to pay her respects to the king and the royal family." 

During the confinement of the queen, verses of 
every description poured in constantly. We will cite 
only that of a poetic lemonade-maker : 



To THE Queen on Her Confinement, 1778. 

Without consulting the Sibyl, 

Of merest chance a thing, 

To the mother of our King, 
I told without much skill 

That a prince she was to see ; 

And so it chanced to be. 
Now, happy at seeing aright 
The same for you in sight, 

A son I dare predict. 
And before the dawn, the light ; 

But if my mind is tricked, 

And if I do mistake, 
The dawn I shall see break 
Before the morning bright. 

This muse was right in supposing that she was not 
infallible; for, December 20th, the queen gave birth to a 
princess, who was christened Marie Therese Charlotte.' 

By January, the queen had recovered, and on the 8th 
of February the royal family set out with great pomp 
for Notre Dame. Marie Antoinette was attacked with 
measles, the end of March. Louis XVI., always so 
exact, gives us the date of the appearance of the 

" March 31, '79, the queen has measles." 

If we believe Bachaumont, she caught it from Ma- 
dame de Polignac. What is certam is that the latter 
was also confined to her bed, for we find the queen, 
during her illness, greatly pained by the absence of the 



Mercy wrote that Marie Antoinette " bore with great 
displeasure the absence of one of whom she was so 
especially fond." We must state that, in spite of the 
absence of her favorite, the queen was no less well 
cared for by Madame, the Comte d'Artois, and the 
Princesse de Lamballe. 

Separated from her husband, for whom they feared 
contagion, Marie Antoinette had the society of four 
of her intimate friends, the Due de Coigny, the Due 
de Guines, the Comte Esterhazy, and the Baron de 
Besenval,* who took their places by her side as if they 
were nurses. 

As soon as she recovered, she wished to see her 
favorite, and went to Paris, Rue de Bourbon, to dine 
alone with the Comtesse de Polignac. 

Entirely well again, the queen, whose illness, accord- 
ing to Mercy, had prevented her from attending to her 
religious duties, received communion. Madame de 
Lamballe held the napkin for her. 

A short time after this, Marie Antoinette was alone. 
Madame de Polignac had gone for her health to Spa, 
where she was to remain two months. Madame de 
Lamballe was at Bourbon. 

But the separation had not the same results for the 
two favorites. Mercy wrote, regarding the absence of 
the princess, that " her favor has not ceased to decline, 
more and more, and that now she is much more 
tolerated than desired by the queen;" while he soon" 
announced the return of the countess by saying that 
6 8i 


he * ' has brought back to the queen the resources of 
society, the absence of which had been greatly noticed 
by her." 

As we know that he always kept the most offensive 
epithets for the princess, who, no doubt, showed him 
some disdain, we are not surprised that, when Madame 
de Lamballe returned from Bourbonne les Bains, he 
wrote : 

' * The Princesse de Lamballe, who has spent almost 
three months at the baths, has returned and must notice 
more than ever the total loss of her favor with the 
queen. The superintendent has become for her 
Majesty an object of weariness and displeasure and 
is now even distasteful to her. The result is that the 
Princesse de Lamballe complains to her intimate men 
and women friends, who repeat her words in public. 
So little interest, however, is taken in the superintend- 
ent that no one troubles about it or comments on the 
changed attitude of the queen towards her former 
favorite. ' ' 



" In the Year of Adoption, 1778, on the 5th day 
of the second month," we read in a manuscript of the 
times, ' ' the Loge de la Candeur was regularly convoked 
and fraternally assembled. The business was opened 
in the Orient by the Venerable Brother ' Marquis de 
Saisseval, accompanied by the Comtesse de Brienne, 
Grand Mistress ; in the Occident, by the Brother Mar- 
quis d'Arcambal, and the Sister Marquise d'Havrin- 
court, Grand Inspectress." 

This 5th of February, 1778, the lodge presented 
unusual animation. All the Brothers and Sisters were 
there. They wished to be present at the visit of the 
Due and the Duchesse de Chartres, the Duchesse de 
Bourbon, and the Princesse de Lamballe, who had 
promised to honor the meeting by their presence and 
to participate in the work of the Assembly. The 
Marquis de Lusignem, the Comtes de Bethisy and de 
Salles were charged by the Venerable to give their hands 
to the illustrious guests and to conduct them to the 
reception room. On their arrival a deputation of nine 
Brothers paid their respects, and introduced the visitors 
to the lodge, in the midst of general acclamation. 
Immediately after, the speeches began. First came 



that of the Brother Orator, the Comte de Gouy, 
addressed to the Grand Master, to the Grand Sister 
Mistress, and to their Highnesses the other Sisters. 

After him the secretary, Tissot, and the Comte de 
Sesmaisons spoice in turn. 

"The business," says the manuscript, "was sus- 
pended to celebrate the Banquet," at which they blew 
out several lamps of obligation {souffle plusieurs lampes 
d' obligation): the first toast in honor of Louis XVI., 
the second in honor of the Grand Master and Grand 
Mistress of the Loges d' Adoption; finally, the fifth, 
in honor of the Duchesse de Chartres and of the Prin- 
cesse de Lamballe. The orchestra of the lodge was 
then heard, and each amateur recited verses or sang 

' ' The Marquis de Caumartin sang stanzas composed 
by the Brother Comte de Saisseval. This proof of 
the Masonic zeal of these two Brothers was received 
with well-deserved applause: 


To the air of ' The Vaudeville Epicure.' 

Our eyes alone persuade the fair ; 

Beauty brings loves galore ; 
But they are faithless, so beware. 

Come, brothers, swear that never more 
We shall thus fickle be ; 

To virtue, as to every grace, 
We'll pledge our fealty. 


Of wisdom sought I then to speak, 

In sweetest terms to trace ; 
And likewise simply did I speak 

Of intellect and grace. 
They very much admired 

These blessings doubly dear ; 
But I am still. Copy, adieu ! 

The model fair is here. 

"The Sister Comtesse Dessalles sang, with much 
grace, the following stanzas of the Brother Comte de 
Sesmaisons, which were received with applause: 

To the tune of ' Que ne suis-je la Fougire ? ' 

Oh, goddesses kind. 

To whom all joys are due, 
Whose hearts our glad voices 

Must touch through and through, 
We know the great lack 

Of our talents so weak ; 
But when one has feeling. 

Must one always speak ? 

; In vain would we paint 

Every virtue and charm ; 
The mind feels constraint. 

The heart knows alarm. 
It offers you homage, 

And asks of you ruth. 
And by simple language 

It honors the truth. 

Dear Sisters, whose presence 

Enhances our land, 
Accept as reward. 

Our joy, now at hand. 


Let us strengthen the bond 

That binds us to-day, 
And ever to love 

Let all things give way. 

It is thus that these goddesses 

Lay aside royalty ; 
Asking through love alone, 

Purest equality. 
Some mortals dare tell 

Of the love each one feels ; 
Comprehension of this 

Inspiration reveals. 

* ' The Brother and the Sister Comtesse de Bethisy 
then sang couplets in dialogue, upon the reception of 
the Sister the Comtesse de Roche Chouart, composed 
by the Brother de la Chevalerie. 

" The eiffbrts of these brothers and sisters were 
heartily applauded. 

" Dialogue between a M: — : and a Proselyte." 

To the air of ' Viens, Aurare,je iHmplore.' 
THE M: — : 
Come, Julie ! 
Oh, agree. 
Come and join our union. 
Let us show 
What you must know : 
The rites of our communion. 

No ; the fear 
I cannot bear 
Fills my soul with awe ; 


Such torture 
To endure 
Makes me dread your law. 

THE M: — : 

Our probation 

Of short duration 
Need not make you fear ; 


Is the gage 
We ought all to bear. 


Since the story 

Of my glory 
Lies in danger meeting. 

I, sensitive ! 

You, imperative ! 
How my heart is beating ! 

THE M: — : 

Thy confidence, 

Thy confidence 
Adds one delight the more. 

By its charms 

Your alarms 
Will change to joys galore. 



Let them only meet 

Without knowing 

Or bestowing 
A thought on how they'll greet, 


THE m: — : 

Our retreat 

Is gentle, sweet, 
A shrine of peace alway ; 

The happy age 

Of the true sage 
Rules our hearts to-day. 

Our life, 

Without strife 
Flows onward fair and free. 

Our language. 

Our usage. 
Tell of liberty. 


Or sad, 
This weak humanity 

Claims all ; 

And at its call 
We yield tranquillity. 

The love we pay 

Of good, to-day, 
Is our sure guarantee. 

Used for our pleasure, 

Each mystic measure 
Shows but humanity. 


Ah ! Julie ! 

Will agree 
To join you in your union ; 

For I would know 

What you must show : 
The rites of your communion. 


" Immediately after followed the toasts of all the 
Masons, men and women scattered over both hemi- 
spheres. This was preceded by a song of the Order 
of Adoption, rendered by the Brother the Vicomte 
de Gand and the Comte Maxime de Puisegur. 

' ' When the Most Serene Grand Master, the Most 
Serene Grand Mistress, and the August Sisters, the 
Duchesse de Chartres and the Princesse de Lamballe, as 
well as the Brother and Sister Visitors who had accom- 
panied them, had signed the platform, all the business of 
that day, so memorable and flattering for the Loge de la 
Candeur and interesting for the Order, was happily ter- 
minated in the midst of peace and joy and to the sounds 
of harmony, the fifth day of the month of February, 
in the Year of Adoption one thousand seven hundred 
and seventy-eight. 

' ' To the regular business succeeded several forms of 
amusement, arranged for the Most Serene Grand Master 
and Grand Mistress and the illustrious visitors. Among 
others, the Brothers and the Sisters of the lodge gave 
a representation of the Ami de la Maison^ a comic 
opera, the roles of which were filled, in a manner very 
unusual even among society actors, by the dear Sisters 
the Comtesse de Brienne, the Comtesse Dessales, and 
by the Brothers the Vicomte de Gand, the Marquis 
de Caumartin, and the Comte Maxime de Puisegur. 
We give below the couplets of the vaudeville, com- 
posed by the Brother Comte de Gouy. They were 
enthusiastically applauded and were repeated at the 
request of the Most Serene Grand Master and of the 
august Sisters. 

" Couplets composed by the Brother Comte de 

Gouy, Orator. 



' ' To the air of the 'Vaudeville de la Laitiere : J'etais 
gisant a cette place,' etc. 

" Madame la Comtesse Dessalles played the part 
of Agathe, Monsieur le Vicomte de Gand that of 

As a reward of love so true 

Hymen prepares my joy, 
Wife and mother I shall be — 

Sweetness without alloy. 

To Monsieur le Dug and to Madame 


Because of my mother-love, 
From my love of a lord, 
Brothers, I choose from you, 
A happy couple for a model, 
A happy couple for a model. 

" Monsieur le Vicomte de Gand playing Celicour 
to Madame la Comtesse Dessalles playing Agathe: 

I win a rank and you, my queen, 

Twice happy in a day ; 
Behold me captain under Mars 

And under Love, alway. 

To THE Princes. 

O, you of the ceremony 

Both the witnesses and ornament, 

If I win your consent 

I will renounce my company, 

I will renounce my company. 

" Monsieur le Comte Maxime de Puisegur playing 



Oronte to Madame la Comtesse de Brienne playing 
Orphise : 

To my friends, to my prudence, 

Our children's joy is due. 
As to friends, my vigilance 
Shall guard my sister, too. 
Many seem so, 
"Without being so. 
I refer, Cliton, to you. 

To Monsieur le Due de Chartres. 

The true friends of the house 

Are the Brothers of the Grand Master, 

Are the Brothers of the Grand Master. 

" Monsieur le Marquis de Caumartin playing Cliton 
in the foreground and somewhat hiding the other 
actors : 

Without imposition, 

I have passed many an examination 

In words of love ; 

And, in history 

I paint only lovers as heroes. 

To THE Princes. 

But history offers other charms 
To one who knows your home ; 
Princes, there lies true heraldry, 
Where Vict'ry has painted your arms. 
Where Vict'ry has painted your arms. 

"This illustrious Chief, as well as the Most Serene 
Grand Mistress and the august princesses, deigned to 



amuse themselves at the ball which was then given and 
with which the Most Serene Grand Master wished to 
close the exercises. 

' ' These Most Serene Brothers were accompanied by 
all the Brothers and Sisters of the lodge, whose hearts, 
long after their eyes had ceased to see them, followed 
these leaders so beloved and so worthy of being be- 
loved. Let us now study the Loge de la Candeur 
in its usual routine. The secretary, Tissot, undertook 
this task in the discourse he pronounced before the 
twenty-first meeting. May 3, 1777. He began by 
saying that, thanks to the zeal of the Sisters, the Mar- 
quise de Courtebonne de Polignac, the Comtesse de 
Choiseul, and the Vicomtesse de Foudoas, the organiza- 
tion of the lodge had taken place the 21st of March, 
1775. He went on to state that the ' Sister Marquise 
de Genlis was the first to admire the virtues of our 
Masons.' " 

The interesting manuscript quoted by us contains, 
in its written minutes, which number sixty-five, curi- 
ous details which we must not omit. Thus at the 
fifth meeting we find, among other things : 

"The Marquise de Genlis having accused the 
Brother, Prince Salpieha, of having broken the rules of 
the lodge by leaving the temple without permission 
(although it was in order to satisfy the demands of 
nature), there had been a discussion as to whether 
he should be punished for this fault, and as to the 
kind of punishment. The Brother Salpieha was brought 
to the door of the temple; he was led in with his face 
turned towards the West ; the Venerable then ordered 
the Brother Master of the Ceremonies to conduct him 



to a side room, in which he was to be locked during 
the entire session." 

This same report tells us that the princess was twice 
present at the meetings, or, at least, that she signed 
the minutes of two of the meetings. 

At the twenty-sixth meeting, the 5 th of Februaiy, 
1778, which we have described, the princess signed 
herself Sceur Princesse de Lamhalle ; at the forty-third, 
which was held February 24, 1780, and at which she, 
as well as the Duchesse de Chartres, was cheered, she 
resumed her usual signature : JH. T. L. de Savoie. 

She did not affix her signature every time, for the 
minutes of the meeting at which she received the com- 
pliment paid her for having honored the meeting of 
the 8th of May, 1778, with her presence do not have 
it. This is the compliment : 

"The Loge d' Adoption, under the name of la 
Candeur, the 8th of May, in the year 1778, to the 
Most Serene Sister, Princesse de Lamballe: 

S: — : and T: — : C: — : S: — : 

"You have deigned to visit our climate, and your 
presence has awakened in the hearts of all our brothers 
and sisters that lively and pure sentiment which for 
many reasons your appearance inspires. 

"To offer you the homage of our meeting is an act 
of gratitude ; it will be one of kindness on your part if 
you will deign to accept it. 



"We are, with the most respectful and fraternal 

S: — : and T: — : C: — : S: — : 

"Your very humble subjects and servants, and very 
affectionate brothers : — : and sisters : — : of the Loge 
de la Candeur." 

Our illustrious princesses w^ere in good company 
there, for the list of the Brothers and Sisters composing 
the Loge de la Candeur shows us the names of almost 
all the court ladies, as well as those of the illustri- 
ous military officers of the time.' The majority of 
readers know but little of the ancient French Order 
of Masons, and will be surprised to see us refer to the 
subject in a study of the Princesse de Lamballe. Let 
us, therefore, assure them, without delay, that we shall 
touch upon the question only just enough to disclose 
the part taken by this princess in the mysterious cere- 
monies toward which her lively imagination impelled 
her. In acting thus, she merely followed the example 
given by almost every one around her. 

It will be enough, therefore, for us to say that it 
was towards the middle of the eighteenth century that 
the Lodges of Adoption were founded." By the 
Lodges of Adoption is meant those which admitted 
women. "The more perfect half of the human race," 
we read in the ^Esguisse' of the works on Adoption, 
"could not always be banished from the places she 
sought to embellish. Is goodness perfect without grace? 
We, therefore, have admitted sisters to those of our rites 



in which they could and should participate; we have 
recalled to their minds our principle by making them 
adopt our aims." 

" One doubts," says Bachaumont, "if it is to the 
French that this happy innovation is due, and whether, 
in the land of gallantry, there could have existed for so 
long a time, in all its glory, a society from which the 
fair sex was totally excluded." 

For its part, from the loth of June, 1771, the Grand 
Orient took under its protection the Masonry of Adop- 
tion, but with the expressed condition that a Venerable 
of the Lodge should be its president or, in his absence, 
should be replaced by the head Inspector, and that, 
furthermore, no meeting could be held without the 
presence of a certain number of regular Masons. 

There were even general rules, in which we notice: 

*'Art. VI. — No woman in a delicate condition or at 
a critical period can be admitted to the reception. 

"Art. VII. — No one can be admitted before the age 
of eighteen, unless the whole lodge unanimously gives 

"Art. XXIV. — Propriety is especially requested. 

"Art. XXVI. — When a sister does not feel in a 
condition to preserve propriety during her reception she 
shall ask to retire." 

The sisters wore a robe of white stuff, an apron of 
white kid lined and bordered with blue silk, and white 

Each wore about her waist a blue-watered belt, pass- 



ing from the right to the left, at the end of which hung 
a flaming heart containing an apple. The dignitaries 
wore the same style of belt crosswise ; but the flaming 
heart was replaced by a golden trowel. 

Furthermore, all, whether men or women, wore on 
their left arms the badge of their Order, in white satin 
lined with blue, with these words embroidered in silk 
of the same color : Silence and Virtue. 

The Masonry of Adoption at first consisted of three 
degrees : Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Mistress. 
Later, two new grades were established, those of Per- 
fect Mistress and of Sublime Scottish Mistress Elect. 
But, adds Monsieur Ragon in his Ritual of Adoption, 
the last two were given but seldom. However, we 
have found at the end of the manuscript of the General 
Rules, a diploma of this degree, which is rather curious. 

Model of the Certificate of the Sublime Scottish Mistress. ' 
The parchment, or that on which the diploma is 

written, must be in the form of a pentagon. 

The first three letters signify lodge of Masons, and 

the year of grace. 

L. D. M. 

Signed in the Garden of Eden, towards the East, 
whence comes the first light of the lodge for women, 

under the distinctive title of , by the mysterious 

numbers known only to the Enlightened. 

We, earthly leaders, directing the sublime and 
respectable lodge for women, have seen the zeal and 



the energy shown by the Venerable Sister, aged 

years, native of , follower of the Christian 

religion, in her desire to reach the highest degree of 
Masonic light. We have judged her capacity, life, 
and morals, with a careful examination of her conduct, 
as much in the lodge as outside of it, and feeling that 
she has answered every requirement in her quality of 
Mason, we make known that we have admitted her 
to the degree of Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Mistress 
Mason, Perfect Mistress, and Sublime Scottish Mis- 
tress, and we recommend all our Bs : — : and Sister 
Masons to recognize her as such, and to give credence 
to the present certificate given her for use, in case of 
need, which we have signed with our own hand, and to 
which we have affixed the seal of our respectable lodge, 
the whole to be countersigned by our own secretary. 
Signed in the Garden of Eden, on the side of the 

Orient, the day of the week of month of 

the Masonic year, five thousand eight hundred , 

and, in vulgar reckoning, the thousand, eight 

hundred . 

XX, Chief Inspector. 

XX, Chief Inspectress. 

S : — : Grand Mistress. 
Sealed by us, Guardian of the , by order of 

X . . . 

Seals and Archives . . . 

The Very Respectable Lodge, 

7 97 


If the business of these lodges did not seem to be 
serious, the poor at least profited by them. A meet- 
ing never broke up without a collection, the proceeds 
of which, given into the hands of the treasurer, were 
spent in keeping the unfortunate. "Preference was 
given to those who shunned the eyes of the public." 
To the proceeds of the collections were added the 
fines, and each infringement of the rules was subject to 
a penalty of from six to twelve cents. Probably the 
strict punishment for the slightest offence brought in 
rather large sums. We see, in fact, that, besides some 
debtors released from prison, acts of courage worthily 
rewarded, prizes accorded to virtue, there was on the 
14th of September, 1777, at a meeting of a Lodge of 
Adoption at Waux Hall, presided over by the Princesse 
de Lamballe, to celebrate the convalescence of the 
Due de Chartres, a magnificent fete, at which three 
poor girls were married and three children of unfor- 
tunate Masons admitted into apprenticeship. Again, 
on November 26, 1781, the Mother Lodge, on the 
occasion of the birth of Monseigneur le Dauphin, 
ordered sung in the Church of Saint Eustache a musical 
mass from a composition by Floquet, who directed the 
orchestra himself. Madame de Lamballe, as well as a 
large number of lords and ladies of the court, was pres- 
ent. The Mother Lodge held a meeting in its rooms 
immediately after, and voted that it would take charge 
of the education of all the poor male children born the 
same day as the dauphin, in the Parish of Saint Eustache. 



All these fetes, as we have shown in this chapter, 
ended with a banquet, at which the table was in the 
shape of a horseshoe. The room was lighted by five 
chandeliers or, in default of these, by candles in clus- 
ters of five. 

Everything was arranged, in accordance with the 
Ritual of Adoption, on five lines traced in different 
colors. The stars were placed in the centre, the dishes 
on the next outer line, the bottles and decanters on a 
third line, the glasses on a fourth, and the plates on 
a fifth along the edge of the table. 

During the repast the serving was done by women 
who were received into the first degree without having 
to pay any assessment, and who rarely reached the 
second degree. By a wise precaution these serving 
sisters had to be thirty years old, for fear that " their 
babble might cause scandal in the Order," and they 
were accepted only after a minute examination and on 
the proper recommendation of the Sister who presented 
them. These meetings, which were greatly in vogue 
for a few years, met with certain criticisms when they 
were first started as well as when they had become 
more successful. Did not Bachaumont cry: " French 
gallantry has caused the Institute of the French Masons 
to degenerate here to a great extent ' ' ? Another 
anonymous author claims that they ridiculed women by 
demanding certain tests in which, according to him, 
the candidates learned nothing serious. 

On the lOth of January, 1781, the Princesse de 



Lamballe was nominated Grand Mistress of all the 
regular Scottish Lodges of France. 

The curious minutes of this meeting, in which the 
Comtesse d'Affry, the Vicomtesse de Narbonne, the 
Comtesse de Mailly, Marie de Durfort de Donissan, 
Victoire de Durfort de Chastellux, Madeleine d'AfFry 
de Diesbach, and Louise de Broc were received as 
Mason Apprentices, were offered for sale a few years 
ago, as well as a catalogue of books containing the 
report of the R. •. M. •. L. •. Ec, •. of the Social Con- 
tract from June 24, 1781, to February i, 1786. Un- 
fortunately for us, in spite of our researches, we have 
been unable to procure it. We know merely that it 
contained the following curious minutes : 

" The eighteenth day of the eleventh month of the 
year of Science 5780, the Reverend Mother-Lodge of 
the Scottish Rite of Adoption, . . . the Most Serene 
Sister Louise de Carignan, Princesse de Lamballe, and 
the Venerable Brother Abbe Bertolio . , , and 

brothers; Marie Constance de Lesbiac, aged {sicY, 

Pauline, Vicomtesse de Narbonne, aged 37, Jeanne 
Felicite de Narbonne, Comtesse de Mailly, aged 18, 
Marie de Durfort de Donissan, aged 33, etc., 
etc., . . ." 

The Lodge of the Social Contract had undergone 
numerous changes since its foundation, which dates 
back to the 30th of March, 1766. First reorganized 
October 9, 1772, by the Grand Lodge, then by the 
Grand Orient, the 21st of January, 1773, under the 



name of Saint Lazare, it resumed its original title of 
Saint Jean d'Ecosse, of the Social Contract, May 21, 

Its Venerable was at that time the T. •. C. •. F. •. 
de Brommer, Chevalier of the Royal and Military 
Order of the Merit; and its Director theT. •. C. •. 
F. •. Abbe Bertolio, advocate of the Parliament, Rue 
des Masons, near the Sorbonne. 

It was said that this lodge would have endless diffi- 
culties, for we find the following motion discussed 
in the meeting of the tenth day of the tenth month, 


"The G. •. O. •. declares in the name of the G. •. 
M. •• that this most serene F. . has refused to sign the 
constitution of the R. •• L. •. of the Social Contract 
(called Scottish Mother-L. •.), according to the obser- 
vation made by him that this title was signed by none 
of the officers of the G. •. O. •. which appointed a com- 
mittee to thank the most Serene G. •. M. ■. for that 
distinguished proof of his love for regularity. 

" The G. •. O. *. announces to all the regular LL. -. 
that the time accorded to the R. •. L. •. of the Social 
Contract (called Scottish Mother-Lodge) to put itself 
into due form, having expired, it is this day crossed 
out from the list of regular LL. •." 

Finally, to conclude, we should have been glad to 
be able to give extracts from a very rare pamphlet 
which would have furnished us with an ample 
amount of curious information on the initiation of the 
princess as Grand Mistress, the 20th of February, 



1 78 1. Unfortunately, these special volumes, drawn 
from a limited number of copies, are, apart from their 
extreme rareness, to be found in certain libraries of the 
New World to which it is difficult to obtain access. 

Some of our readers, more fortunate than we, may 
be sufficiently interested to gain admission to these 
books, and we are glad to tell them of the pamphlet 
we have mentioned, under the number 2,142 of the 
" Bibliographie der Freimaurerei," by Doctor Georg 
Kloss (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1844). The title is 
" Hommage ma^onnique de la Mere-Loge Ecossaise 
d' Adoption to the Most Serene Sister Marie Therese 
Louise de Carignan, Princesse de Lamballe, its Grand 
Mistress, and the Official Sisters, the day of their ini- 
tiation, February 20th. By the F. \ Robineau de Beau- 
noir, secretary of the Mere-Loge Ecossaise. Heredon, 
1781, in-8, 24 pp." 

We will say, in conclusion, that the last Grand 
Mistress of the Lodges of Adoption was the Empress 



The coldness of Marie Antoinette towards the 
princess might easily have been attributed to the lack 
of order in the accounts of the superintendent and to 
her continued demands in regard to her position. All 
these facts came to the knowledge of the queen and 
irritated her against poor Madame de Lamballe, whose 
want of care in her business affairs perhaps explains 
the frequent demands. 

About 1778 we see that a certain Mizet, clerk of 
her secretary, dismissed, no doubt, by his intendant 
Charles Joseph Loques, had compiled a lengthy 
memoir to inform the princess of the calumnies 
brought forward by the aforesaid intendant, and 
furthermore had cited various instances of abuse. 

At first the princess seemed to attach only a rela- 
tive importance to this information, but Mizet, who 
wanted to make trouble, was not afraid to write to 
Madame de Guebriant: 

" Madame: 

"As perhaps you may have some orders to give me 
in connection with the memoir I have had the honor 
of addressing to you, I beg you to be good enough to 
permit me to affix my address to the present note. The 



truth of most of the facts mentioned in this memoir is 
in your hands, and I am ready to prove, even in the 
presence of the guilty, those facts of which you have no 
proof. You are too just, Madame, and you hold the 
interests of the princess too dear for you not to enlighten 
her highness promptly. My rival does me great injury 
by the atrocious libels he spreads abroad about me. I 
have fought in vain against these, but I cannot convince 
people that he is an impostor, for they think him an 
honest man. 

" I await with confidence the decision of your jus- 
tice. I am, with deep respect, Madame, for your 
illustrious self, your very humble, very obedient, and 
very submissive servant, ^ 

" Rue de la Vielle Draperie, House of Monsieur 
Gaillard, Notary." 

Not content with an account of the misdeeds of his 
chief, an account which does not possess great interest 
and which deals with trifles, he again appeals to the 
Marquise de Guebriant to obtain the attention of the 

" It would be interesting for the princess," he con- 
cludes, in one of his notes, " if they should search 
Monsieur Loques' apartments without informing him 
in advance. They would discover, I think, many mys- 
teries, notably in his red portfolio and in a small case 
which lies on his coffer. 

" I persist in what I have just stated, and I very 
humbly beg Madame la Marquise de Guebriant, in 
whom I have the most perfect confidence, to be kind 



enough to take prompt measures in regard to all the 
facts mentioned in the present account, and to permit 
me to offer proof of them. 

*' I rely on the wisdom and the justice of Madame 
de Guebriant. Signed Mizet, Clerk of the Secretary of 
her Highness. Rue Coquilliere, Maison de fayancier." 

This new demand from Mizet, who had not left the 
service of the princess, does not seem to have had any 
effect; but the disdain with which his information was 
received irritated that singular person, who, in order 
to avenge himself, spread abroad most extraordinary 
reports as to the private accounts of the superintendent. 
This made the public suppose that her general accounts 
were in no better condition. 

Madame de Lamballe, whatever the order in which 
she kept her private business affairs, nevertheless ener- 
getically demanded absolute control of those of her 
mistress, using her office of superintendent for this 

Monsieur de Paulmy did not intend to be a victim 
of what he considered an excess of zeal, and com- 
plained to the queen in the letter we give below : 

" Madame: 

' ' The fear of importuning your Majesty prevents my 
asking for an audience; but I owe you an explanation 
of my conduct, and I will give it in a few words. 

" Madame la Princesse de Lamballe wishes to dis- 
regard the advice of your Majesty and to settle the 
accounts of the treasurer-general. She told me of this 



intention some time ago. I answered nothing, being 
persuaded that those who told her she had this right 
were sure of it, 

"And yet the contrary has practically been proven 
to me. In short, I realized that there had been no 
rule nor precedent, at least for a hundred years, which 
authorized the claim of Madame la Superintendent. 
I had the honor of writing to her. I enclose a copy 
of my letter and two notes, which prove that Mademoi- 
selle de Clermont, princess of the blood, although she 
had the title of chief adviser to the queen, as has 
Madame de Lamballe, never advanced such a claim. 
If the king and your Majesty will make a new rule 
regarding this subject I will submit to it without a 
word, but since there is no precedent for the claim of 
Madame de Lamballe a new law will be necessary. 
After receiving my letter, Madame de Lamballe sent 
for Monsieur Amelot and begged him to carry out the 
king's orders in the affair; this is all I ask, and I am 
ready to conform to them in every way. 

" I am, with the most perfect submission to your 
Majesty, Madame, your very humble and very obedient 
servant and your very faithful subject and chancellor, 

" R. DE Paulmy. 
"Versailles, January 9, 1779." 

The princess, whose star was visibly growing dimmer 
and dimmer as that of Madame de Polignac bright- 
ened, was on the point of not accompanying the Court 
during its sojourn at Marly; but, yielding no doubt 
to the advice of her friends, and especially to that 
of the Due de Penthievre, she changed her mind. 
This year Marly was particularly dull. The weather 



was frightful; walks and hunting parties suffered. No 
plays, for economy's sake. The afternoons were ter- 
ribly long, the evenings interminable. Mercy under- 
takes to tell us in detail of the occupations of the 
queen. Marie Antoinette spent several hours of the 
day with the Comtesse Jules, and Madame de Lamballe 
was seldom admitted to those " private interviews." 
Card-playing was indulged in more than ever. The 
princess sanctioned it to such an extent in her own 
apartments, it seems, that the Due de Chartres in one 
evening lost eight hundred louis. The rumor of this 
reached the queen, who was greatly displeased at it. 

Always very much affected by the coldness of Marie 
Antoinette, the poor princess sought by every means 
in her power to approach her friend, took advantage 
of every circumstance, and carried out her slightest 
wishes ; but, alas ! it was almost wholly in vain. The 
health of Madame de Polignac had been uncertain since 
her attack of measles ; she attended to her duties only 
now and then. Suddenly she stopped them entirely, 
and then it was that the queen, completely heart- 
broken, determined to go once a week to Paris to see 
her favorite. During this period of enforced separation 
' ' the princess appeared more frequently at Versailles, 
but was no better received." 

The poor woman had already suffered cruelly enough 
from the indifference of the queen, without need of 
further cause for grief; but a fresh calamity arose to 
overwhelm her. Her brother, who, thanks to his credit 



and to the protection of the queen, had been appointed 
colonel in IJJS^ married at Saint Malo, where his 
regiment was garrisoned, a common woman, or rather 
one belonging to a family so little known that the 
union was looked on as a mesalliance. We quote the 
following details from Bachaumonf. 

" A Prince de Carignan," he tells us, " brother to 
Madame de Lamballe, colonel in the service of France 
in a regiment of his name, fell in love at Saint Malo 
with a Mademoiselle Magon, niece of the Magons 
well known in commerce and finance. She is neither 
wealthy nor beautiful, but has intelligence and a spirit 
of intrigue. She induced this weak-minded prince to 
marry her. The bishop of Saint Malo, satisfied with 
a vague license from the King of Sardinia, which the 
prince showed, permitting him to be married in 
France, gave a dispensation and the ceremony took 
place before the court could oppose it. It is thought 
that this marriage, although morally valid, does not 
exist civilly, and although it has been consummated, 
steps are to be taken to dissolve it. It is said that, in 
consequence, the King of Sardinia has recalled the 
prince to Turin." 

We find also in the " Nouvelle de Paris et de Ver- 
sailles," dated December 21, 1779, a slight variation 
of this account. The prince must have received orders 
to leave the kingdom; and it was even considered 
doubtful whether the court of Turin would receive 
him. This marriage, the subject of so much dis- 
cussion, was in fact annulled in 1780 by a vote of 



parliament, but was again celebrated in 1781, at Saint 
Malo, as we see by what followed : 

"The Comtesse Jules has completely succeeded her 
rival in the affection of the queen. It is only at rare 
intervals that we see the princess making a short stay 
at court." The correspondence of Mercy, silent on 
this subject, refers constantly, on the other hand, to 
Madame de Polignac. The ascendency of the latter 
was great and finally frightened the empress, who often 
spoke to her daughter on the subject. 

The queen went but seldom to the Princesse 
de Lamballe's, " where they continued to play for 
money," says Mercy. The king never went there. 
His only visits were for the friend of the moment, for 
Marie Antoinette seemed to fear for him the society at 
the superintendent's, which she found too numerous 
and generally too noisy. 

But Madame de Polignac was about to be confined, 
and it was a question as to how she could be seen 
without trouble or fatigue. 

This difficulty was solved by the arrival of the 
court, which came to La Muette,' whereupon Mercy 
wrote, April 17th: 

"It is practically decided that during the confine- 
ment of the Comtesse de Polignac, that is, in May, the 
court will make a short trip of ten days to La Muette." 

In the meantime the two friends were together as 

much as possible. 



" There are few people at Marly, where one is 
greatly bored, although there are three plays each 
week; the drawing-room is charming. The queen 
does not sup, she takes a drink of milk with Madame 
la Comtesse Jules, who has undergone a wonderful 

All these imprudent and inconsequential acts of the 
queen ended by wearying people, and the court began 
to gossip about this absorbing friendship.'' 

" The Paris public," Mercy tells us, " did not at 
all approve of it, and regarded it as a demonstration of 
exaggerated favor; but little cared Marie Antoinette, 
who reached the young mother at ten o'clock in the 
morning, dined with her, and spent the day there." 

The queen did not always go alone. During het 
stay at La Muette the king paid visits to the countess. 
" This was the only private establishment in Paris," 
observes Mercy, " which the king had entered since 
his coronation," ' and it was a great mark of distinc- 
tion. Once at Versailles Marie Antoinette made only 
two visits a week to her friend, until the latter again 
appeared at court. Then the two met daily in the 
Trianon. Comedy was given there; the women's 
roles were played exclusively by the Comtesse de Poli- 
gnac and the Comtesse de Chalons ; those of the men 
by the Comte Jules, the Comte d'Adhemar, and the 
Comte Esterhazy. It was decided that the sole spec- 
tators should be the king and the royal princes and 



" Not even the ladies of the palace nor the ladies- 
in-waiting to the queen were to be made exceptions to 
this rule." Mercy adds: "If this plan is strictly 
adhered to it will no doubt keep out many of those 
who would be in the way." 

Unfortunately, these plays and amusements caused 
jealousy, and the refusal to make exceptions, which 
was a source of such pleasure to the ambassador, was 
a mistake, and gave rise to numerous complaints. 
They became even wearisome — so Mercy says — and 
the queen put an end to them. 

The Princesse de Lamballe had the mortification of 
being refused admission to the Trianon, an act for 
which public opinion blamed the queen, while in our 
eyes Madame de Polignac alone was responsible, having 
evidently asked it of her friend. 

" The Princesse de Lamballe," wrote Mercy, " by 
right of her position as superintendent, thought an ex- 
ception to the rule would be made in her favor; but 
this was not done." 

What proves that this action in regard to the prin- 
cess did not originate with the queen, who at heart 
was very kind, is the remembrance of her former 
friendship, of which she was soon to give proof in 
regard to the death of Monsieur de Carignan. For 
the rest, there was no possible doubt about this in the 
mind of the shrewd observer to whom we have so 
frequently and profitably had recourse. He says; 



** The seclusion of the queen in the Trianon until 
to-day was suggested by the Comtesse de Polignac. 
The latter wished all the chief ladies to be excluded; 
the ladies of the palace and the courtiers. . . ." 

Why this exclusion ? Simply because the Comtesse 
Jules had a favor to beg, because she feared the influ- 
ence of the princess, and because she wished to sur- 
round the queen with her own friends, that she might 
use them at need to carry out her secret wishes. 

The truth is soon revealed to us. The Comte de 
Polignac was appointed hereditary duke, and his wife 
" prit le tabouret a la cour." 

The excessive friendship of the queen blinded her. 
In spite of all the requests with which she was over- 
whelmed by the Polignacs she was not able to do with- 
out this not wholly disinterested friend. 

"The trip to Fontainebleau is postponed from the 
yth to the nth. The queen and the king leave early 
in the morning. During the absence of the king the 
queen goes daily to dine and spend the day at Claye 
with Madame la Duchesse de Polignac." 

But, as we have just said, Marie Antoinette could 
not on learning of the death of Prince Victor Amedee 
de Carignan recall her ancient friendship for the prin- 
cess without being moved. She went to Paris to see 
her and spent "some time." We should prefer to 
think that she strove, by every possible means, to con- 
sole her unhappy friend, rather than that she limited 



the visit to simply an ordinary call of condolence, as 
is the opinion of the faithful servant of the Empire, 
whose valuable researches come to a stop on the sud- 
den death of Marie Therese, November 29th. 

The king was so affected by this terrible news that 
he could not announce it to Marie Antoinette. To 
the Abbe de Vermond was entrusted this task, and 
only then could Louis XVI. appear before his wife. 
" I thank you, Monsieur I'Abbe, for the service you 
have just rendered me," were the first words, accord- 
ing to Madame Campan, that the king addressed to the 

The queen's grief was violent. She shut herself 
up in her apartments and did not come out for sev- 
eral days, and then merely to attend mass. The only 
two friends she consented to see were Mesdames de 
Lamballe and de Polignac. 

Mercy-Argenteau tells us that in 1778 Madame de 
Lamballe begged the queen to give her a considerable 
income from Lorraine; but his subsequent silence on 
the subject makes us think that this request, like many 
another, was not granted. The princess, who in- 
tended to return to the charge at the first opportune 
moment, was very careful not to forget a promise of 
the queen, vague though it was; for we see that she 
obtained an annuity of forty thousand livres from the 
department of foreign affairs, by order dated January 4, 
1 78 1. And yet Madame de Lamballe, whose need 
of money was great, had already some time before 
8 113 


obtained quite a considerable increase of salary, accord- 
ing to the statement of cash accounts. 

*' To the Princesse de Lamballe : The sum of forty- 
two thousand five hundred livres for the first six months 
of 1779 of the eighty-five thousand livres given her 
annually in addition to her salary as superintendent 
of the royal household, order of September 5, 1779." 

A very small sum for that matter for the ex-favorite, 
and one which could not be compared to the liberal 
amounts of which the Polignacs had recently been the 
recipients. This family, extremely and unsurpass- 
ingly avaricious, did not cease to plot to obtain favors 
and privileges; their relatives, or even their allies, 
equally unscrupulous, acted in the same way. 

For a long time Madame de Gramont' had cherished 
the hope of having Mademoiselle de Polignac as wife 
for her son. As soon as she thought of the possibil- 
ity of this union, a result of her intrigues, she hoped 
in spite of his youth to obtain for him the succession 
to the Due de Villeroy, as Captain of the Guards. 
On the eve of the marriage, thanks to the kindness of 
Maurepas, but to the great displeasure of the ambassa- 
dor to Vienna, the Due de Durfort-Civrac, who sought 
the position for his son, the Due de Lorges, she suc- 
ceeded in bringing about the nomination. 

"Yesterday, at Saint Sulpice," we read in the 
' Journal de Paris,' " was celebrated the marriage of 
the very high and very powerful Lord Monseigneur 
Antoine Louis Marie de Gramont, Due de Guiche, 



with the very high and very pow^erful Mademoiselle 
Louise Gabrielle Aglae de Polignac." 

The Comtesse Jules, better informed, more practi- 
cal and " more settled," according to the strange ex- 
pression of Marie Therese, obtained as her share on 
the occasion of the great family event quite a sum, 
although just enough to pay her debts, and eight hundred 
thousand livres as dowry for her daughter. 

At the confinement of the queen we again see the 
Princesse de Lamballe. As superintendent it was upon 
her that devolved the duty of informing the princes and 
the princesses of the royal family of the queen's con- 

In his journal, written from day to day, Louis XVL 
traced briefly, even dryly, the smallest acts of his 
private life. For him, no details; facts and dates 
only; statistics were evidently his dominating passion. 
This once, to our great surprise, he enters into 
detail, for his delight at having at last an heir makes 
him loquacious. On account of this effort, which 
is only a passing one, it would be bad grace on our 
part not to let him speak: 

* ' The queen passed a very comfortable night the 
2 1st of October. She felt some slight pain on awaken- 
ing, but this did not prevent her from bathing; the 
pain continued, but to no great extent. Until noon 
I gave no order for the shooting I was to do at Sacle. 
Between twelve and half-past the pain became greater; 
the queen went to bed, and just one hour and a quarter 



later, by my watch, she gave birth to a boy. There 
were present only Madame de Lamballe, the Comte 
d'Artois, my aunts, Madame de Chimay, Madame de 
Mailly, Madame d'Ossun, Madame de Tavannes, and 
Madame de Guemenee, who went alternately into the 
Salon de la Paix, which had been left empty. In the 
large cabinet was my household, that of the queen and 
the grand entries, and the under-governesses, who en- 
tered at the critical moment and who remained at the 
rear of the chamber so as not to cut off the air. 

" Of all the princes to whom Madame de Lamballe 
sent at noon to announce the news. Monsieur le Due 
d' Orleans alone arrived before the critical moment (he 
was hunting at Fausse Repose). He remained in the 
chamber or in the Salon de la Paix. Monsieur de 
Conde, Monsieur de Penthievre, Monsieur le Due de 
Chartres, Madame la Duchesse de Chartres, Madame 
la Princesse de Conty, and Mademoiselle de Conde 
arrived also ; Monsieur le Due de Bourbon in the 
evening, and Monsieur le Prince de Conty the next 
day. The following day the queen saw all these 
in turn. 

*' My son was carried into the large cabinet, where 
I went to see him dressed, and I laid him in the, hands 
of Madame de Guemenee, the governess.*^ After the 
queen had been delivered I told her that it was a boy, 
and he was brought to her bedside. . . •" 

The birth of the dauphin filled the people with joy. 
Happiness was universal." From everywhere the king 
and the queen received congratulations on the happy 
event. We will quote, in passing, that of the women 
of La Halle : 



* ' Congratulations of the fishmongers of Paris on the birth 
of Monseigneur le Dauphin^ pronounced by Dame 
Houdon^ November 4, 1 7 8 1 . 

" To THE King. 

*■'■ Sire : Heaven owes a son to a king who looks 
upon his people as his family; m our wishes and our 
prayers we have long asked for him. These are at 
last answered. We are sure that our grandsons will 
be as happy as we are, for this cherished child must 
resemble you. You will teach him to be good like 
yourself; we will undertake to instruct our sons how 
they should love and respect their king. 

" To THE Queen. 

' ' Madame : All France has already proved to your 
Majesty its true and lively joy at the birth of Mon- 
seigneur le Dauphin. We have shown our delight 
with all the love we have for you ; it is permitted 
us to-day to lay at the feet of your Majesty the ex- 
pression of our hearts; this privilege is dearer to us 
than life. We have loved you, Madame, so long 
without daring to say so, that it requires all our respect 
not to abuse the permission to tell you of it. 

" To Monseigneur le Dauphin: 

"Our hearts have long waited for you; they were 
yours before your birth. You cannot yet hear the 
vows we make around your cradle, but some day they 
shall be explained to you; they all amount to seeing 
in you the image of those to whom you owe life. 

*' Read and approved, this 6th of November, 1781. 

" De Sauvigny. 

*' Permission to have printed this 6th November, 
1781. Lenoir." 



In the early part of this year Madame de Lamballe 
was sponsor to the daughter of the Marquis de Mor- 
dant de Massiac, with the Due de Penthievre. 

" His serene Highness, Monseigneur le Due de 
Penthievre, and Madame la Princesse de Lamballe," 
we read in the 'Journal de Paris,' "the day before 
yesterday were sponsors at the baptism of the daughter 
of Monsieur le Marquis de Mordant de Massiac; the 
ceremony was performed by the curate of Saint Eu- 
stache in the chapel of the Hotel de Toulouse." 

A few days later the princess gave a ball to the royal 
family. The king informs us of the fact in the follow- 
ing terms : 

" First ball at Madame de Lamballe' s, January 12, 

On the 1 6th occurred the marriage of her maid of 
honor, Mademoiselle Etienne d'Amblimont, to the 
Comte de Lage de Volude, ensign in the Royal Navy. 
The contract had been signed on the 13th by the king 
and the queen. On the 20th the princess herself pre- 
sented the young countess at court. During the fetes 
given by the City of Paris in honor of the birth of the 



dauphin, the princess accompanied the queen to every 

In its supplement of Tuesday, January 29, 1782, 
the " Gazette de France" tells us that Marie Antoi- 
nette left La Muette, the morning of the 21st, in her 
"state carriage," accompanied by Madame Elisabeth, 
Madame Adelaide, the Princesse de Bourbon-Conde, 
the Princesse de Lamballe, and the Princesse de 
Chimay. The procession went first to Notre Dame 
and Sainte Genevieve, and then to the Hotel de Ville, 
where, later, the king himself arrived. After a mag- 
nificent banquet of seventy-eight covers the royal 
family with the same ceremony and in the midst of 
illuminations returned to the Chateau de la Muette. 

Two days later, having had a very gay supper given 
them at the Temple, the king and the queen attended 
the ball at the Hotel de Ville, where unfortunately the 
crowd was so great that the queen cried out, *' I am 
suffocating ! " and the king was obliged to " elbow his 
way through the masses." This fact the " Gazette," 
with admirable ingenuousness, undertakes to prove to us, 

" The astonishing crowding together of the masquer- 
aders," it says, "that unconscious pressing forward 
which impels subjects to draw as near as possible to 
their sovereigns, made it impossible for their majesties 
to remain at the ball longer than an hour." 

The Bodyguard also decided to celebrate the birth 
of the dauphin, and towards the close of December 



they planned to offer their sovereigns a ball. Un- 
fortunately postponed on account of the health of 
the Comtesse d'Artois, the magnificent fete given in 
the grand hall of the Opera at Versailles could not 
take place before January 30th. 

The Princesse de Lamballe was the only one of the 
family present at that time. The Duchesse de Char- 
tres had measles, from vi^hich disease her four-year-old 
daughter, Mademoiselle d' Orleans, died a few days 

Let us speak now of the connection of Madame de 
Lamballe with the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess 
of Russia, who were travelling incognito, under the 
title of the Comte and Comtesse du Nord, and who 
were long remembered for their affability and their 
knowledge and love of the arts. ' 

Delighted with their reception at court the Comte 
and Comtesse du Nord, during their stay in Paris, 
eagerly accepted the various invitations extended them 
by the members of the royal family, as well as by the 
princes of the blood, and went successively to Trianon, 
Chantilly, and Choisy. 

The last of May the Due de Penthievre had the 
honor of receiving them on his beautiful estates at 
Sceaux. The Baron ne d'Oberkirch left early in the 
morning with the Comtesse du Nord and, in her inter- 
esting memoirs, speaks enthusiastically of the splendid 
fete, in every detail worthy of its princely hosts, and 
the brilliancy of which, in the words of Fortaire, was 



enhanced by the beautiful spring weather and cloudless 


Arrived at Sceaux, the Comte and the Comtesse du 
Nord were received by the Due de Penthievre, aided 
by the Duchesse de Chartres and the Princesse de 
Lamballe, who rivalled each other in grace and amia- 
bility. Escorted by a numerous suite of highly dis- 
tinguished guests they strolled through the park among 
gardens which were perfect wonders of order and 
beauty, filled with rare and lovely flowers. Later a 
collation of " exquisite magnificence" was served. 

On leaving the table elegant carriages took the 
guests for a drive. The Comtesse du Nord, the Prin- 
cesse de Conti, and the Duchesse de Chartres stepped 
into the first carriage, wi-hich was driven by the Due 
de Penthievre. The second, in which were some for- 
eign ladies with Madame de Lamballe, had for driver 
the Comte du Nord himself. During the drive our 
tourists constantly admired the beautiful estate, on 
which everything had been wisely arranged to please 
the eye. A number of carriages filled with lords and 
ladies in beautiful attire drawn thither out of curiosity 
added to the interest of the scene. 

That day the Comte and Comtesse du Nord must 
indeed have appreciated the reputed courtesy of the 
Due de Penthievre, and retained a delightful impres- 
sion of the charming drive. On Saturday, June 8th, 
Madame de Lamballe also had the honor of receiving 
the foreign princes after the ball at Versailles. This 



fete, if we are to believe Bachaumont, was because of 
the illumination " still more superb than that of the 
Bodyguard's, and was no less well conducted." 

In spite of all the splendors described by her, Ma- 
dame d'Oberkirch could not refrain from admitting 
that " these formal gatherings are not amusing; when 
one has seen them he wants to retire." Young, fond 
of laughter and amusement, the baroness naturally pre- 
ferred the supper of the superintendent, which she de- 
scribes to us at length. The circle, composed of all 
the members of the royal family, was, it seems, small 
but select. According to his habit, the king left at 
the close of supper. The gayety was then freer, since 
" formality did not check their enjoyment." After 
a game of lotto, at which considerable money was lost, 
the queen herself gave the signal for the ball by danc- 
ing a quadrille, and the entertainment did not end until 
about four o'clock. 

Endeavoring to trace faithfully the daily life of 
the Princesse de Lamballe and her relatives, we are 
obliged to pass suddenly from one subject to another, 
and to relate at random the joys and the sorrows of 
her life. 

Thus the Hotel de Toulouse was again in mourning, 
on account of the death of Messire Louis Samuel de 
Tascher, priest, doctor of the Sorbonne, chief prior of 
Sainte-Gauburge, and chaplain of his serene Highness 
Monseigneur the Due de Penthievre, Hotel de Tou- 
louse, Rue de la Vrilliere. 



Portunately, it was not a member of the family; 
nevertheless the loss affected the Due de Penthievre, 
who felt himself robbed of an old confidant and of 
a friend of many years' standing. 

In the meanwhile a piece of news, impatiently waited 
for, brought a happy diversion to the grief of the 
prince. A young gentleman, from infancy a page in 
the duke's household and lately appointed captain in 
his regiment of dragoons, had just "carried off the 
prize of poetry by a dialogue between Voltaire and a 
serf of Mont Jura." The duke professed the greatest 
friendship for this young man, who was essential to 
his court, but whose first dramatic attempts, in spite 
of his devotion, he had encouraged because of their 
absolute morality. 

All of the host's guests congratulated him on the 
success of Florian, whose pleasant, cheerful ways and 
frank gayety were appreciated by every one. On 
August 25th, the day set for crowning the author, the 
appearance of the Academy was particularly interest- 
ing; the audience was, to a great extent, composed of 
the friends of the Due de Penthievre. The latter had 
promised to come to the gathering with the Duchesse 
de Chartres and several other personages of the court. 
Each one had said he would applaud the triumph of 
the young laureate; moreover (and this was not the 
smallest attraction, but a real literary treat), Dalembert 
was to have charge of the reading of the prize poem, 
and the company counted on his talent and his skill to 



show ofF the most striking passages, and so assure suc- 
cess to Florian. 

Why was not Madame de Lamballe, who was a 
friend of Florian's, present at this family gathering ? 
We have been unable to discover the real motive for 
her absence. Perhaps she had gone to the baths, as 
she usually did at that time of the year. However, 
we do not see her until a month later at Passy, where 
she had herself vaccinated ; and afterwards, on the 8th 
of December, at the presentation of her maid-of-honor, 
the Marquise de Las Cases ; and then, towards the end 
of the month, under the following circumstances ; 

Gaerat, that " astonishing genius " even among the 
" most clever musicians," was beginning to make a 
name, and the princess, who knew how to give the 
queen pleasure by speaking to her of a debutant for 
whose talent she could personally vouch, had readily 
consented to go to hear him at the Abbe d'Espagnac's. 

Proud of this honor, and anxious to offer the princess 
a fete worthy of her, the abbe, finding his canonical 
quarters too limited, had obtained from his father, who 
was at that time governor of the Invalides, the recep- 
tion-rooms of that hotel. 

So far all had gone well, and to his reputation as a 
wit and courtier D'Espagnac would have added that of 
being an accomplished host, had not an unlucky ban- 
terer, shocked at seeing the honors done by one of the 
De Giliberts, a cousin of the D'Espagnacs and a charm- 
ing woman no doubt, but of a family greatly inferior in 



rank to that of the guests, given vent to his ill-humor 
in the followring lines: 

" 'Neath porticoes with laurel twined, 
Whom do I see ? Am I now blind ? 
Near Lamballe, in the warrior's place, 
At fete, and concert, with bold grace, 
Doing the honors there. 
Whom see I ? Gilibert ? 
Oh, social outrage ! You, the niece. 
Daughter and sister of police ! " 

On the 7th of January, 1783, there was a fete in 
the Hotel de Toulouse, on the occasion of the baptism 
of the daughter of the Comtesse de Lage de Volude, 
The child was held over the baptismal font by the 
Due de Penthievre and by Madame de Lamballe, sur- 
rounded by several friends whom the chapel of the hotel 
could scarcely contain, so great was the desire to con- 
gratulate the happy mother, that gentle and amiable 
Etienne d'Amblimont, loved like a daughter by the 

A few days later Louis XVL, in his diary, tells us 
that she gave a ball and, as usual, states the date. 

The chief event of that time was the purchase of 
the house at Passy, which the princess concluded with 
the Due de Luynes for the price of one hundred and 
ten thousand livres, on the ist of February. 

What could have been the motive of Madame de 
Lamballe in making this purchase ? We do not exactly 
see. Probably the poor princess, feeling that she was 



kept at a distance by the marked coldness of her sover- 
eign, did not wish, though yielding ground, to cut her- 
self ofF entirely from the court, lest she might be re- 
proached for neglecting her duties. In spite of all the 
injustice and the mortification she had to endure it never 
entered her head to resign her position. 

On the other hand two reasons convincing to our 
mind prevented her from continuing to live in the 
Hotel de Toulouse. Her father-in-law rarely came to 
stay in Paris, and, by its deserted appearance, this palace 
augmented the grief of the unfortunate woman, who 
needed light and sunshine. 

With its park, its beautiful flower gardens, and its 
delightful terraces whence one obtained a fine view, 
Passy would give her the calm and the repose her 
whole being craved. And the fresh park with its 
sunny and artistically laid out parterres brought back in 
part the smile to her face, already faded and overshad- 
owed by the clouds of a real grief. Besides, she 
felt herself more than ever drawn to her father-in-law. 
Extremely sensitive and of an impulsive temperament 
she had to love and be loved. Repulsed in the great 
friendship she had given to Marie Antoinette it was on 
the good duke that she turned the overflow of her soul. 
Thus it was this venerable prince who profited by all 
the devotion of which she was capable. And with what 
touching care, what delicate attention she surrounded the 
excellent man, who consoled her for the most cruel of 
misfortunes ! If she could escape for a few days, if she 



needed to open her heart on the bosom of some friend 
who understood her, she at once went to him whom she 
ingenuously called her " dear papa," were he at Eu, at 
Aumale, at Chateauvillain, Amboise, or elsewhere. She 
knew beforehand that she would find in that peaceful 
home the precious joys of a well-filled life; for the 
Due de Penthievre used his immense fortune, which had 
caused enough umbrage at court at the time of the death 
of the Comte d'Eu to arouse the report that in high life 
they wanted to see the heir of so large a property marry 
again, in the most lavish charity, and people vied with 
one another in praising his inexhaustible generosity. 

The duke's kindness of heart was proverbial. To 
give only one instance of it, a servant never left his 
employ save by his own free will, and that in his house- 
hold positions were held from father to son. This is 
proved by the following: 

'* Philippe Lelong," we read in the ' Gazette de 
France,' " the pensioned concierge of the Due de Pen- 
thievre, died at the Hotel de Toulouse, Versailles, the 
30th of last month, in the eighty-first year of his agej 
he was the son of Jean Louis Lelong, the prince's con- 
cierge, who died in the same hotel in November, 1765, 
in the one hundred and second year of his age." 

Bachaumont traced for us, some years later, in the 
list of well-known men who met at the assembly of 
January 29, 1787, a not very flattering portrait of the 
venerable prince. But we know well enough how 
this writer allowed himself to be carried away both by 



the tendency of the times and by an unreasonable 
bitterness and rancor. 

" A weak prince," he says, " honest and reserved, 
who took nothing upon himself, but who did good if 
the necessity for it were brought forcibly to his notice, 
and if he did not fear to displease the king." 

Though few people knew the prince well, he was 
much talked of. Some thought his mode of life sin- 
gular, and blamed him for the even tenor of his days. 
Others thought that his home life must be monotonous 
and tiresome, and wondered how the princess could 
find pleasure in it; others went so far as to reproach 
the good man for his great piety. 

We will not pause to consider these various opin- 
ions, but will give preference to that of the Comtesse 
de Lage, because she had talked with him, had known 
him, and had seen for herself what took place around 
him. We rely on her the much more readily as she 
was endowed with penetration and was a profound 

" Although unusually pious," she writes, " he [the 
duke] was lively in his own home, and not at all ex- 
acting. A thousand times he left his daughter-in-law 
and myself in his house reading novels together while 
he went to church. As he passed us he would say : 
' I leave you because you are butterflies. Youth must 
have its day. Some time you will read other things.' " 

If the amusements of the princess were not numer- 



ous, at least that placid life exempt from care, con- 
fusion, and display was not displeasing to her, and the 
absolute liberty she enjoyed, joined to the affectionate 
regard of the duke, was sufficiently attractive to induce 
her to prolong her visits. 

And if there were need of further proof in favor of 
the Due de Penthievre, we could cite this testimony 
of Madame de Lamballe herself. 

" I tried my best, my dear little one," she wrote, 
' ' to read the letter from your sister. I could not 
reach the end, for her handwriting is not at all like 
her pretty fingers. ... I should grow very tired 
here were I not with Monsieur de Penthievre, who 
treats me with ever-increasing kindness. ... I de- 
vour letters and books. I have gone through the whole 
of the little library. The stories of Marmontel seem 
to me to be very dull." 

Reading, we see, formed their chief distraction. 
The duke himself, in spite of the austerity with which 
he was credited and the reproaches so unjustly flung at 
him, did not scorn it, and willingly commissioned 
Florian to procure some books for him which he 
thought he could read. 

There was offered for sale a charming letter of Flo- 
rian' s, addressed to Monsieur Girod, at the Marais, 
September 13, 1790, in which the writer gives him 
several commissions, among others to buy, at any price^ 
for the Due de Penthievre the " Chansons" of Cou- 
langes, in a small and well-bound volume. '* They 
9 129 


are rare, ' ' said he, ' ' but Monsieur de Bure knows what 
that means." 

The Due de Penthievre adored his grandchildren 
and went several times every year to Belle Chasse, 
says their governess, and overwhelmed them with gifts. 

In his correspondence Grimm tells us in regard to 
these presents a pleasing story, which must greatly 
have embarrassed the grandfather, always so punc- 
tilious as to the choice he made. 

" There were no New Year's gifts this year," says 
he, " about which more has been said than about those 
which Monsieur le Due de Penthievre sent to Made- 
moiselle d' Orleans, his granddaughter. This is the 
story : Having deigned himself to visit all our great 
toy-shops, his Highness decided finally on a beautiful 
little palace, which in every respect seemed worthy of 
his preference. The idea was a novel one, and its 
workmanship was as elegant as ingenious ; thanks to 
the play of a spring, easy to handle, all the windows 
of the palace opened one after another and there were 
seen innumerable numbers of the sweetest dolls in the 
world. This gift, carried to the little princess at the 
convent of Belle Chasse, soon became an object of 
admiration to all the nuns, who gathered around to 
see it. One of the youngest nuns in particular could 
not keep from looking at it. After examining it in 
detail and trying all its springs she finally perceived 
a small secret button which had not yet been touched; 
her finger quickly pressed it. Great heavens, what a 
strange surprise ! All the dolls, which until then had 
appeared, were at once replaced by piquant figures of the 
Aretin. The scandal throughout the entire community 



was great, no doubt, but it is said that even the piety 
of the Mother Superior could not prevent her from smil- 
ing when she saw what hands the devil had dared to use 
in order to play such a trick. The toy merchant was 
deservedly censured, but he protested his innocence, and, 
impertinent as the whole conception was, it was easily 
proved that chance alone was to blame." 



For some time the king, to whom the chase was the 
most agreeable if not the only pastime, had been anx- 
ious to obtain Rambouillet, which was near, and 
included a forest reputed to be full of game. Until 
then, however, he had not dared to make known 
his desires openly, either from reasons of economy 
(for the cost of such an estate was great), or be- 
cause he feared a refusal on the part of the duke, 
whom he knew to be but little inclined to give 
up his property. More than anything else, he had 
in mind the mortifying reply which Turgot, em- 
powered to purchase Sceaux for his aunts, brought 
on himself. 

" Monsieur le Controleur General," the duke an- 
swered him, " I well knew that you preached liberty, 
but I did not suppose you were a man to take such a 

Moreover, Louis XVI. well knew that there was an 
obstacle to his project very difficult to overcome. Ram- 
bouillet contained the treasures of the family of the Due 
de Penthievre, and it seemed improbable that the son 
of the Comte de Toulouse would consent to give up 
those precious heirlooms. 



But such was the kindness of the venerable prince, 
such was his constant desire to be agreeable to the 
king, that as soon as he heard of the latter' s wish he 
consented to everything, and the price was fixed, by 
common consent, at eighteen millions. 

The removal of the regiments for Dreux took place 
with great pomp, Tuesday, November 25th. 

Thus, for Madame de Lamballe the whole of the 
year 1783 slipped by gently and quietly. She kept 
away from the intrigues of the court; but, in spite of 
everything, backbiting concerning her went on just the 
same. Bachaumont would have failed in the task he had 
evidently imposed on himself of exposing the smallest 
details if he had not made some allusion to the pam- 
phlets on the degeneration of the morals at court, 
" which spare," he adds, " neither the Polignacs, nor 
the Polastrons, nor Madame de Lamballe." 

Base calumny was hurled against the royal family 
and all those who had any connection with the court 
were greatly abused. Bachaumont, always vigilant, 
takes care to inform us both of the date of the appear- 
ance of the libel and its title, ' ' Bibliotheque des Dames 
de la Cour, avec de nouvelles Observations. Decem- 
bre, 1783," as well as of the title of the article which 
especially concerns our princess, " La Matiere prefer- 
able a 1' Esprit," dedicated to Madame la Princesse de 
Lamballe by the Marquis de Clermont, and reviewed 
by La Vaupalliere. 

The princess returned to court at the approach of 



Easter, as at that time the duties of her position called 
her back to the queen. 

" On the 5th the queen went with ceremony to the 
church in the parish of Notre Dame, where she re- 
ceived communion from the hands of the bishop, the 
Due de Laon, her grand chaplain; the Princesse de 
Lamballe, superintendent of the royal household, held 
the napkin, which was also held by the parish chaplain. 

* ' The afternoon of the 8th, Holy Thursday, the 
queen heard the sermon preached by the Abbe Duvan- 
cel, canon of Meaux. The bishop of Saint Papoul 
gave absolution, after which the queen washed the 
hands of a dozen poor girls and waited on them at 
table. The Marquis de Talaru, head-master of the 
hotel of her Majesty, set the table, the plates of which 
were brought in by Madame Elisabeth of France, the 
Princesse de Lamballe, superintendent of her Majesty, 
and by the ladies of the palace, and the ladies-in-wait- 
ing of the princesses." 

The Baronne d'Oberkirch tells us that she went 
twice to Madame de Lamballe' s house in the month 
of June, first on the 13th, after her presentation at 
court, then on the 27th. 

" Madame de Lamballe," she says, " invited me to 
supper by order of the queen." 

The baroness insists on the "order." Was it to 
make herself important, and to show, by the insistence 
of the queen in inviting her, the esteem which Marie 
Antoinette felt for her ? 



Two foreign princes again came to visit Paris in 
1784, the King of Sweden, travelling incognito under 
the title of the Conite de Haga, and Prince Henry, 
brother of the King of Prussia, also incognito, under 
the title of the Comte d'CEls. Both claim our atten- 
tion, for both were received by the Due de Penthievre. 

The first of these noble visitors arrived in Paris on 
Monday, June 7th, and did not leave until July 19th. 
During his six weeks' sojourn he paid several visits to 
the Due de Penthievre and to his daughter-in-law. 
Historians do not agree as to the date of the prince's 
visit to the Hotel de Toulouse. 

While Fortaire places it on June 27th, Metra assigns 
it to the 8th. But both are mistaken; we prefer a 
third version, that of the Due de Penthievre himself. 

" The day after his arrival in Paris," Metra tells 
us, ' ' he was with the Princesse de Lamballe, and was 
announced only from the ante-chamber. The princess 
was greatly surprised, but she had to receive a friend 
from his court, charged to give her a family kiss. 
The count asked for the Due de Penthievre, to whom 
the princess sent word, and the visit took place." 

Another contradiction, for according to Metra it 
was Madame de Lamballe who received the prince 
first; and according to Fortaire, it was the contrary 
which occurred. He makes the Comte de Haga say, 
on taking leave of the Due de Penthievre: "I am 
going to pay my respects to Madame la Princesse de 
Lamballe." To establish the truth, we will give the 



diaiy of the Due de Penthievre himself, only a few 
pages of which are in the national archives. 

" On June 9th," we read, " the King of Sweden 
arrived at the Hotel de Toulouse and asked for Mon- 
sieur de Penthievre and Madame de Lamballe, who 
were at home. His Swedish Majesty first ascended 
to Madame de Lamballe' s rooms (the King of Sweden 
did not salute Madame de Lamballe, nor did the latter 
salute the Comte de Haga), Monsieur de Penthievre 
going there as soon as he was sent for. Madame de 
Lamballe had chairs brought and the King of Sweden 
seated himself before the arrival of Monsieur de Pen- 
thievre. When the latter entered the room the visit took 
place, the guest and the hosts standing. Monsieur de 
Penthievre asked the King of Sweden if he wished an 
arm-chair and his Swedish Majesty replied that etiquette 
did not give one to the Comte de Haga. Had he 
accepted, Monsieur de Penthievre would have had one 
brought for himself and one for Madame de Lamballe. 
The King of Sweden told Monsieur de Penthievre that 
he expected to go to the home of the latter; he intro- 
duced to him Monsieur de Fersheim, who accompanied 
him ; and Monsieur de Penthievre, in turn, presented to 
him Monsieur le Chevalier du Authiers, captain of his 
guards, and Monsieur de Las Cases, who was with 
him. The Duke said that the latter did not belong to 
his household, but that he was there a great deal as his 
wife was lady-in-waiting to Madame de Lamballe. 

" They opened the two folding-doors for the King of 
Sweden, who wished to be conducted neither by Mon- 
sieur de Penthievre nor by Madame de Lamballe, both 
of whom, nevertheless, did go with him as far as the 
door of Madame de Lamballe' s sleeping-room, in which 



the visit had taken place. He sent back Monsieur le 
Chevalier du Authiers, vv^ho had follovi^ed him half-vi^ay 
to the stairs, still saying that he vi^as only the Comte 
de Haga. Monsieur de Penthievre and Madame de 
Lamballe addressed the King of Sw^eden as ' Monsieur 
le Comte.' The valet who announced Monsieur le 
Comte de Haga, vi'hile opening the two folding-doors, 
announced Monsieur de Penthievre in the same w^ay. " 

This document, sufficiently curious in itself, proves 
hovi^ punctilious the duke wras, how much he observed 
matters of ceremony, and what care he took to note, 
from day to day, all that he and his daughter-in-law 
did. He does not stop at this point, and we return 
to his diary: 

" On the 1 0th Madame la Princesse de Conti, Ma- 
dame la Duchesse de Chartres, and Madame la Princesse 
de Lamballe, who was not with the Comte de Haga on 
his ' arrival,' went to see the King of Sweden, but did 
not find him. On the I2th the Due de Penthievre did 
the same with no better results. On the 13th a gentle- 
man came to the Hotel de Toulouse, on the part of the 
king, to invite the duke to a ball to be given in honor 
of the Comte de Haga on the following Friday. On 
the 14th there was the opera and the king occupied 
his box. The Duchesse de Bourbon and Madame de 
Lamballe occupied the two first boxes on the right and 
left sides of the house, according to their rank. 

" 1 8th. —Court ball. 

" 23d. — The king sent up a balloon at Versailles in 
the courtyard of the ministers of state. 

" 30th. — The Due de Penthievre left for Chateau- 



Balloons were the rage at that time. Every one 
talked of them ; they were the fad of the day, so we 
are not surprised to see the novelty of the Due de 
Chartres mentioned; but we doubt if the princess was 
of the party, as is stated in the ' ' Nouvelles de Paris et 
de Versailles " : 

*' The balloon from Saint Cloud, constructed by the 
Robert brothers, which was to have started this week, 
has been postponed because of some accident which 
happened to it during the bad weather of the past few 
days. It is torn in several places. There is a report 
that Monsieur le Due de Chartres and Madame de 
Lamballe will ascend in it with the Robert brothers, 
and will dine at Villers-Cotterets. " 

After the few documents from which we have quoted, 
we should be glad to give a bit of verse, composed this 
time in honor of the princess. To hear her praises 
sounded at this late day is a matter of such rare 
occurrence that we cannot afford to omit these lines. 

"The * Six Nouvelles' of Monsieur de Florian," 
we read in the " Journal de Paris," " have just ap- 
peared in Paris, from Didot, Senior, Rue Pavee-Saint- 
Andre, and Debure, Senior, Quai des Augustins, in- 
i8. 222 pages." 

Monsieur de Florian has chosen for his epigraph this 
beautiful verse of La Motte's: 

L'ennui naquit un jour de runiformite. 
(Ennui was one day born of monotony.) 


The epistle, dedicated to her Serene Highness Ma- 
dame la Princesse de Lamballe, contains a delicate 
eulogy : 

Your pardon, Princess, if you trace 
In reading this, by my hand penned, 

The charming features of your face — 
My volume's fate I thus defend. 

My heroines I would enhance : 

One has your frankness without guile, 
Another has your charming smile — 

Graces that everywhere entrance. 

Thus, all your charms I've portioned out 
To Celeste, Felice, Elvire. 

A single charm, without a doubt. 
Had made each lady doubly fair. 

We will close the year with an event which caused 
great excitement at the Hotel de Toulouse. A fire 
broke out in the night above the rooms of Madame de 

" The princess," says Fortaire, " who had just 
retired, at once arose and joined her father, whom she 
did not leave until the fire was entirely extinguished." 

According to the same authority It seems that * ' all 
Paris came or sent to inquire after Monsieur le Due de 
Penthievre and Madame de Lamballe." Moreover, 
the king and the queen, at the first news of the fire, 
despatched pages and equerries to find out about it and 
to show the duke and his daughter-in-law the interest 
they took in the circumstance. 

In order to prove the anxiety that followed we 



cannot do better than to quote the lines the prince in- 
serted in the " Journal de Paris," under the signature 
of his secretary : 

"Chateau of Sceaux. 

" December 28, 1784. | 
"To the Editors of the 'Journal,' 

"Gentlemen: Several persons having written me 
concerning the accident w^hich happened four days ago 
in the hotel, I beg you to be kind enough to insert the 
following announcement in your next edition. 
" I have the honor to be, etc., 

" (Signed) De Mutrecy, 

" Secretary in ordinary to his Serene Highness Monseigneur 
le Due de Penthievre,^^ 

" The Hotel de Toulouse caught fire on the night 
of the 23d of this month, about one hour after mid- 
night. Flames were first seen in the roof above the 
ante-chamber of her Serene Highness Madame de 
Lamballe, in a corner of the building facing the Rue 
Baillif. By about half-past three in the morning the 
fire was under control and at seven only a few pieces 
of wood were smoking. A portion of the roof and a 
part of the storeroom were destroyed. No one perished 
in the accident. Monsieur le Lieutenant-General de 
Police, Monsieur le Prevot des Marchands, and Mon- 
sieur le Procureur du Roi au Chatelet went to the Hotel 
de Toulouse as soon as they learned that it was on fire 
and offered their services. The energy of Monsieur 
Morat and the zeal of the firemen cannot be sufficiently 

" Members of the Regiment of the French Guards 
and of the Regiment of the Swiss Guards distinguished 
themselves as usual on this occasion. 



" The Augustine monks from the Place des Vic- 
toires and the reverend Capuchin fathers from the Rue 
Saint-Honore came to the Hotel de Toulouse and gave 
active help." 

The following notice appeared three days after the 
article vi^e have just quoted, and shows that already 
in the eighteenth century officers did not consider it 
unpleasant to state publicly the services they had been 
able to render: 

"We omitted to say in the notice referring to the 
fire in the Hotel de Toulouse that Monsieur le Chev- 
alier Dubois rendered great assistance." 

The fire was generally attributed to malice, and 
Metra tells us that suspicion pointed to a certain Pou- 
lailler. This man, a famous brigand of the day, had 
already three times set fire to the forests of the duke 
in order to avenge himself because, after the murder of 
one of his guards, the prince had promised the reward 
of one hundred louis to any one who should arrest 
Poulailler. Other crimes led the man to the gallows 
and he was hanged at the Porte Saint-Antoine. 

In February, 1785, the princess purchased for the 
sum of one hundred thousand livres the Hotel Louvois, 
in the Rue de Richelieu, opposite the Arcade Colbert, 
in which she had her horses and coaches stabled. 

On the 26th of March, Marie Antoinette gave birth to 
the Due de Normandie. According to Bachaumont, 
there was no change in the formalities which had been 



adopted at the birth of the dauphin. The * ' Journal 
de Paris " stated that, contrary to custom, the Prin- 
cesse de Chimay was summoned by the queen. We 
think this is a mistake and that its bulletins on the 
condition of the sovereign are at fault, especially as 
Lassonne, the court physician, makes this complaint. 

Everything leads us to suppose that Madame de 
Lamballe w^ent to the queen, and this is confirmed by 
the " Gazette de France," w^hich usually derived its 
information from a reliable source. Moreover, the 
same paper tells us that the princess vi^as present at 
mass in the chapel of the chateau on Easter. We 
know^ that it was not her custom to remain at court 
when her duties to the queen did not detain her. 

The health of Madame de Lamballe demanded the 
greatest care. For a long time she had had to go to 
the baths to seek rest from the terrible nervous affec- 
tion which still troubled her. Discouraged by the 
results the princess, like every one attacked by a similar 
malady, tried a little of everything, listened to every 
one, and hoped to find in the remedies of quacks a cure 
for her trouble. 

The previous year Dr. Deslon, a celebrated disciple 
of Mesmer, came to Paris, and was not slow in win- 
ning an unprecedented reputation as much on account 
of the widespread though unfounded reports of his mar- 
vellous cures, as because of the constantly increasing 
number of his patients, who were almost all women. 

His success had not failed to provoke jealousy and 



to arouse the interest of even the royal circle. Thus 
Bachaumont tells us that the king finally appointed a 
committee consisting of four commissioners from the 
Faculty, four from the Academy of Sciences, and as 
many from the Royal Society, and that he had charged 
it to examine the doctor's methods and his treatment 
and to give him an account of both. 

Naturally, Madame de Lamballe wished to try the 
famous remedy, and the same author tells us, in these 
terms, of the visit she made to the doctor for this pur- 

* ' Finally, Madame de Lamballe, with a lady of her 
suite, went to Dr. Deslon while he was mesmerizing. 
It was impossible to refuse a princess, and in spite of the 
word given by this physician to his patients, her High- 
ness saw them surrounding the mysterious tub, surren- 
dering themselves wholly to the influence of Deslon. 
The women, especially, were greatly outraged by such 
curiosity, for it was they who underwent most singular 
convulsions, experiencing intense ecstasies of pleasure. " 

This remedy was no more successful than the others 
in effecting a permanent cure of the aggravated condi- 
tion of the princess. We find her a few months later 
under the care of Dr. SaifFert, consulting physician of 
the Comte d'Artois, a man of great reputation, who, 
moreover, left some enjoyable works on his science, 
especially on the kind of malady that according to his 
diagnosis afflicted Madame de Lamballe. Bachaumont 
tells us, in short, when Madame de Lamballe went to 



the " great pill doctor of France," and how the queen 
avenged herself by a bitter speech for the grudge she 
claimed to have against Beaumarchais. Doctor Seiffer 
{sic) — a German physician attached to Monsieur le 
Comte d'Artois in the capacity of consulting physician 
— says that, while attending Madame la Princesse de 
Lamballe, the queen came there and asked him if he 
was, as people said, the physician of the Sire de Beau- 
marchais. Whereupon the doctor answered her Majesty 
that he really had charge of the health of that celebrated 
man, that he had been to Saint-Lazare to see him, and 
that he was treating him at that time. '* You will 
purge him in vain," cried the queen; "you cannot 
remove all his evil habits." 

In the month of May, Paris, as usual, celebrated the 
birth of the Due de Normandie with fetes which lasted 
several days. Madame de Lamballe received the queen 
at Notre Dame the morning of the 23d and accom- 
panied her as far as the Tuileries. On the 25th 
Marie Antoinette left La Muette, to take supper 
with the superintendent and to attend the play at the 
Comedie Italienne, 

The queen returned to Paris shortly after to sup 
with the princess again, and to condole with her on the 
death of her brother, the Comte de Villefranche, colo- 
nel of the regiment of Savoie-Carignan ; he had suc- 
cumbed to an attack of quinsy at the chateau of 
Dommart, near Amiens. 

The prince had been ill for some time, but, at the 



instigation of the queen, his condition had been hidden 
from Madame de Lamballe. 

Here is an autograph letter from Marie Antoinette 
to the Comtesse de Lage de Volude regarding this, 
dated June 28, 1785 — that is, two days before the 
death of the prince ; 

*' I think that you are right, madame, to hide from 
Madame de Lamballe her brother's condition. Since 
you have sent to the Chateau de Domar it is just as 
well to wait for news before saying anything to her. I 
shall be delighted to see her this evening and shall tell 
her nothing. I was at table when I received your 
courier, but I will not detain him longer. Rest as- 
sured, madame, of all my friendship." 



Madame de Lamballe had scarcely had time to shed 
more than a few tears for her brother, who had died 
far away from her in disgrace because of his marriage 
with Mademoiselle Magon, when a report of the most 
serious nature concerning the queen suddenly arose. 
It was early in the month of August when that scan- 
dalous Affair of the Necklace ' came to light, involving 
in the most compromising fashion the name of Marie 

On the 15th the Cardinal de Rohan' was arrested 
at the palace of Versailles, still wearing his priestly 
robes. Three days later, on her return from a trip 
to Chateauvillain, where Monsieur de Penthievre had 
just given a splendid fete, Madame de Lamotte,' the 
accomplice, was also imprisoned in the Bastille. The 
court was absolutely panic-stricken and, in addition to 
all the difficulties by which the throne was endangered, 
the most complete confusion reigned. The impres- 
sion was so deep that passion ran away with every one. 
The police were powerless to prevent the circulation 
of libellous pamphlets, filled with stories more or less 
calumniating, which the populace eagerly devoured. 

Every attack was naturally directed against the queen. 



She became an object of hatred," From day to day, 
as the law took its course, her enemies became more 
numerous. To these were joined the friends of 
Madame de Lamballe. Then the torrent reached its 
height and every moment a new pamphlet appeared, 
containing attacks which, although not always well 
founded, were none the less cruel. Meanwhile, what 
was going on at court ? 

The king and the queen were holding the Due 
d'Angouleme over the baptismal font. 

The absence of the Princesse de Lamballe at that 
time, wholly unlikely as it may seem, is justified by 
the conduct of Marie Antoinette towards her, and by 
the mortification from which she had never ceased to 
suffer since the ascendency of the Duchesse de Poli- 
gnac. Now the queen showed her almost indifference, 
as is proved by this letter that Marie Antoinette ad- 
dressed to the princess, under the date of May 14, 

" I answer you merely to show you how much I 
love you, for I am besieged with audiences and busi- 

Formerly when the princess was in favor there 
had been neither audience nor business to interfere 
when the amiable and good Lamballe came, or when 
the queen desired and sought her society. However, 
appearances were always guarded, as is proved by the 
formal visit referred to in the following lines: 



"The queen left Trianon the 3d of this month, 
and the same day her Majesty reached Paris. She 
supped with the Princesse de Lamballe and condoled 
with her on the death of her brother, the Prince de 

If the queen was affected by the gossip caused by 
the scandalous Affair of the Necklace, she did not for- 
get — and that very thing was perhaps the cause of the 
estrangement of the princess — to make sure of the 
emoluments to the Polignacs, always greedy for honors 
and especially for money. 

Metra tells us that the Due de Polignac, feeling that, 
because of his age (forty years), he deserved a higher 
position than that of colonel, had offered his resignation ; 
but he was not the man to give up thus easily some- 
thing for nothing, and must surely have had the formal 
promise of a compensation — if not more honorable, at 
least more remunerative — which tallied exactly with 
his ideas. 

In fact the king, by vote of the State Council on 
October 30th, had granted to the retiring colonel the 
position of director-general of relays and messenger 
service, a position created and established solely for the 
need of the case. 

According to the " Gazette de France," it was not 
until the 2d of the following August that he was sworn 
into office by the king. 

In 1786 Madame de Lamballe did not appear at any 
of the court fetes or ceremonies. Marie Antoinette 



received communion at Notre Dame, the napkin being 
held this time by the Duchesses de Luxembourg and 
de Luynes. At the birth of the Princesse Helene 
Beatrix Sophie the queen sent for the Princesse de 

Certainly one would be led to suppose that the 
estrangement of Marie Antoinette in regard to her 
superintendent was the only cause for that absence, 
and yet we must state that the health of the princess 
was poor, and that it was all she could do to attend 
to the honors of the house of her father-in-law during 
the visit of the Archiduc Ferdinand, as is shown by the 
following detailed account, taken from the diary of 
the Due de Penthievre: 

" The Archiduc Ferdinand and his wife, Marie 
Beatrix d'Este, arrived at Paris May nth, under the 
titles of the Comte and Comtesse de Nettembourg, and 
left the 17th of June." 

They were present at a grand dinner of more than 
eighty covers, given at Sceaux on Wednesday, May 
24th : ' ' My daughter-in-law dined at a small table 
because she was indisposed," wrote the duke. 

On Thursday, May i8th, the Princesse de Conti 
gave a supper to the archduke and the archduchess. 
Monsieur de Penthievre and Madame de Lamballe 
were present; " the latter, being indisposed, did iT,ot 
appear at table." 

On Sunday, May 28th, Madame de Lamballe gave 



a supper to the archduke and the archduchess in the 
large hall of the Hotel de Toulouse. It seems that 
Monsieur deigned to be present. 

The Due de Penthievre, very punctilious as to mat- 
ters of form, thanked Monsieur on June 3d for the 
honor he had done the princess by his presence, and 
a few days after Madame de Lamballe visited them, 
and thanked the archduke and the archduchess for 
their kindness in having come to supper vv^ith her. 

How^ever this may be, to whatever causes one wishes 
to attribute the absence of the princess from the court 
ceremonies, not a paper nor a journal of that time refers 
to her as present, and we do not see her again at Ver- 
sailles until the 24th of December, when she presented 
the Comtesse de Faucigny. We can merely say that, 
as usual, she had spent some time at her father-in-law's 
in company with her sister-in-law, and that all three 
made a visit on October i6th to Monsieur de Belleval, 
whose Chateau of Bois-Robin was in the neighborhood 
of Aumale. This Belleval wrote an account of the 

* ' The friendship which Monsieur le Due de Pen- 
thievre deigns to show me," he wrote on October 17, 
1786, " is very dear to me and he never loses an op- 
portunity to give proof of it. Every time he comes 
to Aumale, of which he is very fond and where he is 
venerated and loved beyond description, he makes 
a point of paying me a visit at Bois-Robin, and as 
I always know in advance when to expect him I am 



careful not to be out of the country, and come from 
Abbeville to meet him. 

" His Serene Highness travels as a simple gentleman, 
in a coach and four preceded by an outrider. Madame 
la Duchesse d' Orleans, his daughter, often accom- 
panies him and sometimes, too, Madame la Princesse 
de Lamballe. It is a fete day for my children; they 
always appear, and in spite of my warning want to em- 
brace the august subjects, who shower a thousand 
favors on them, as they do on all the other ordinary 
visitors. His Serene Highness and the two princesses, 
who arrived at Aumale the day before yesterday, did 
me the honor of coming yesterday." 

In August, thanks to Bachaumont, still on the watch, 
we know that Madame de Lamballe went to see the 
Comtesse de La Motte. We cannot say from what 
motive she acted, whether by order of the queen, or 
from pure curiosity. Note in what terms our precious 
novelist tells us of the singular visit and the reply, 
quite as extraordinary, which the princess received 
from the Mother Superior. 

" During the last few days Madame de Lamballe 
went to visit the general hospital, with which she was 
unfamiliar. Having examined it in detail she asked to 
see Madame de La Motte. Sister Victoire, the Mother 
Superior, made excuses and evaded the request. The 
princess insisted, taking advantage of being a princess 
of the blood, which fact gave her the privilege of going 
everywhere. Sister Victoire, unmoved, continued to 
state that it was impossible. ' But why can I not see 
Madame de La Motte ? ' asked her Highness impa- 



tiently. — ' Madame, because to that she has not been 
condemned.' " 

We thought, and still think, this reply of Sister Vic- 
toire extraordinary and we try to believe that it is one 
of the many shafts of wit let fly from time to time by 

The Assembly of Notables was the chief event of 
1787. Originally called together for January 29th, 
Parliament did not meet again until Thursday, the 22d 
February. This delay, unfortunate in every respect, 
aggravated the situation by prolonging the mental anxiety 
and throwing the country into great trouble. 

The princess appeared but seldom at court. Her 
duties even to the queen suffered by her absence, which 
seems to have been voluntary, either from indifference 
or because of her health, or perhaps from some other 
motive of. which we are ignorant. 

This year, as during the preceding one, the Du- 
chesses de Luynes and de Luxembourg again held 
the napkin when the queen took communion. 

Bachaumont tells us of the departure of the princess 
for England, whither Madame de Polignac had already 
gone. She was charged, according to him, with an 
important mission to Monsieur de Calonne. 

" About a fortnight ago the queen came to Ver- 
sailles and before nine o'clock in the morning went 
to the Princesse de Lamballe's; it was supposed that 
there was business of great importance between her 



Majesty and the superintendent. Shortly after, it was 
learned that Madame de Lamballe had started for Eng- 
land/ Innumerable conjectures arose as to this jour- 
ney. The general opinion at court was that the prin- 
cess was going to negotiate with Monsieur de Calonne 
in order to prevent him from publishing in his ' Me- 
moire ' articles written for private reading only, such as 
the mention of loans of money sent the emperor by his 
august sister, etc., etc. Somewhat of an obstacle to this 
theory was the fact that Monsieur de Calonne was in 
Holland, unless it might be that the superintendent 
first went into that country or for less formality had 
planned with the ex-comptroller-general a meeting in 
Great Britain." 

The opinion of Bachaumont, unfortunately, is not 
always to be trusted; it is far from infallible and his 
accounts are very often invented. Thus, in the pres- 
ent case why does he wish to make the princess under- 
take missions more or less agreeable, more or less deli- 
cate ? It is so simple and so much more probable 
to suppose that the journey was necessitated wholly by 
the wretched state of health of the poor woman, who 
was soon to be placed under treatment, according to a 
letter written by her to her " dear little one " — Madame 
de Lage Volude, no doubt. In this letter she says that 
she is taking baths and staying in various country houses. 
She had heard Madame Obart, who had been acting in 
Paris. This celebrated actress was playing the role of 
Nina, but in a manner ridiculous enough to make one 
die of laughter. She took so much trouble in the 



declamation that she was all in a perspiration. ' ' Adieu, 
my little one; I am going to bed, in order to get up 
early in the morning for the baths." 

Madame de Polignac also was at this time in Eng- 
land for her health. It was no secret that several 
months before she had offered her resignation to the 
queen : 

" The resignation of Madame la Duchesse de Poli- 
gnac is now a settled fact; her poor health obliges her to 
take the water cure in England; what epigrams and 
jokes on this retirement! " 

The queen, with Madame Elisabeth, went to Trianon 
for a month. 

We have no doubt that the princess went to Eng- 
land on account of her health, but Bachaumont, who 
clings to his first idea, tells us that Madame de Lam- 
balle returned with two copies of the " Memoires " of 
Monsieur de Calonne, one of which was for the queen. 

Madame de Lamballe arrived in France in time to 
be present at the exile of the princes of the blood, 
whom Louis XVI., more and more dissatisfied at their 
conduct, more and more annoyed by their ceaseless 
opposition, relegated, each to his own estate. 

On Tuesday, November 20th, at six o'clock in the 
evening the Due d' Orleans received, through the 
Baron de Breteuil,°a letter from the king ordering him 
to leave for his estate of Villers-Cotterets before the 
meeting broke up. The prince was expressly forbid- 



den by his sovereign to see any member of his family 
or his household, and the instructions of Monsieur de 
Breteuil in this respect were so precise that he had 
orders not to leave his royal prisoner. At the moment 
of departure, as anxious about his duty as about the or- 
ders received, Breteuil looked as if he were about to step 
into the carriage of the prince, which proceeding drew 
from the latter, already in a bad humor, the following 
sharp remark: " Well, get up behind! " 

As always in such a case, royal severity made a 
victim of the Due d' Orleans, of whom every one 
thought proper to complain ; complaints, for that 
matter, which were not of long duration and which, 
by witty sayings and jokes, promptly became ridicu- 
lous. "They say," cried Bachaumont, "that, con- 
trary to the rules of optics-, the duke becomes larger 
the farther away he goes." 

At the first news of the exile of her brother-in-law, 
Madame de Lamballe had gone to the queen to beg 
her to intercede with the king in his behalf, but It 
seems that she found her friend inflexible. 

Disappointed with her cold reception the princess 
resolved to betake herself to Villers-Cotterets, where 
she found the Duchesse d' Orleans and her children. 
She took to heart the interests of the duke, her brother- 

But let us leave politics for an instant and turn our 
attention to an episode in the world of letters. 

On Friday, February 29th, the Theatre Fran^ais 



gave the first representation of a metrical tragedy in 
five acts. 

The hero was a young, insignificant author. It 
was known merely that his father was in the service 
of the Due de Penthievre, and that his early efforts 
had been furthered by some powerful aid. Let us now 
explain the help received by Nepomucene Lemercier, 
and let him tell how Florian encouraged his first literary 

" I never forget," said he, " that our amiable Flo- 
rian was the one to give me the first encouragement in 
my literary vocation. He did not scorn to mount to 
the third floor of the lodging of a timid scholar, whom 
he flattered with his praise. He returned later to com- 
pliment me enthusiastically on my tragic essay, in the 
name of the Princesse de Lamballe, of whom I was 
the favorite godson. Moreover, he prevailed on me 
to read him the tragedy of ' Meleagre,' which my 
fifteen and a half years excused, and which the prin- 
cess hastened to have put on the stage by an order 
obtained from Queen Marie Antoinette." 

In his reception address at the French Academy, 
Victor Hugo spoke of his predecessor in these eloquent 
terms : 

" A devoted subject and almost personal servant of 
Louis XVI., he saw the coach pass by on the 2ist of 
January ; godson of Madame de Lamballe, he watched 
the pike pass on September 2d ; the friend of Andre 
Chenier, he beheld the cart of the Seventh Thermidor. 
Thus at the age of twenty he had already seen be- 



headed, in the three beings most sacred to him after his 
father, royalty, beauty, and genius — deity excepted, 
the three most beautiful attributes of the universe." 

At the close of the play the public demanded the 
author, and the princess, after she had pressed a 
motherly kiss on his brow, presented him in the hall. 
But let the ancient minister of public instruction 
of the monarchy of July speak. He is much better 
fitted than are we to describe the early attempts of the 
future Academician. 

" You have spoken of ' Meleagre.' At the age of 
fifteen you were writing odes, Lemercier, and trag- 
edies. The queen wanted ' Meleagre ' to be played. 
The queen wanted to be present at the performance. 
The queen wished to have the boy-poet in her box, the 
better to enjoy a success of which she had no doubt, 
and which, in short, answered her expectations. The 
queen, finally, when the audience shouted for the 
author, had him presented by Madame de Lamballe, 
his godmother, to the delighted public, which, in turn, 
wished the princess to embrace the young laureate. 
This she did with much grace in the midst of the 
applause of the audience." 

In spite of the ceremony, in spite even of his illus- 
trious helpers, this first attempt, although it denoted a 
wonderful gift on the part of the author, did not have 
the desired success. 

"The play," according to the " Correspondance 
litteraire," " was heard to the end with attention and 



good will, but it was not hard to see the feeling which 
inspired the listeners. The young author and his 
friends had the good sense to withdraw the piece after 
the first representation." 

Perhaps this occasion served as a step towards a 
reconciliation between Marie Antoinette and the prin- 
cess, or perhaps the health of the latter allowed her to 
return to her service. We know only that she accom- 
panied the queen to her devotions. 

" On March 29th the queen formally went to the 
church of the parish of Notre Dame, where she re- 
ceived communion from the bishop, the Due de Laon, 
her grand chaplain ; the Princesse de Lamballe, super- 
intendent of the royal household, held the napkin." 

Six weeks later we find the princess at the baptism 
of her nephews, aged respectively fifteen and thirteeri. 
And it is the "Gazette de France" again, always 
accurate in such matters, which gives us the most 
exact details as to the ceremony : 

" On the afternoon of Monday the I2th, the king 
and the queen held over the baptismal font, in the 
chapel of the chateau, the Due de Chartres and the 
Due de Montpensier. Their Majesties were accom- 
panied by Madame, daughter of the king, Monsieur, 
Madame, Monseigneur the Comte d'Artois, Madame 
Elisabeth de France, their Royal Highnesses Mon- 
seigneur le Due d'Angouleme and Monseigneur le 
Due de Berri, the Due and the Duchesse d' Orleans, 
the Prince de Conde, the Due and the Duchesse de 



Bourbon, the Due d'Enghien, the Prince de Conti, 
the Due de Penthievre, and the Princesse de Lamballe. 

"The Due de Chartres was christened Louis Phi- 
lippe, and the Due de Montpensier Antoine Philippe. 

" The baptismal service was performed by the 
Bishop of Melun, grand chaplain of France, in the 
presence of the Sire Jacob, curate of the parish of 
Notre Dame." 

Two days later a reception was given to Florian 
in the Academy, of which he had been the laureate. 
For some time the Due de Penthievre had warmly 
supported this candidate. In 1785 the Duchesse de 
Chartres and Madame de Lamballe had solicited the 
position left vacant by the Abbe Millot for the friend 
and the guest of their house, the faithful confidant of 
the joys and the sorrows of their father. The prin- 
cesses had been on the point of succeeding, but the 
Academy, resisting in the end the pressing solicitations 
of the two amiable women, gave the preference to the 
Abbe Morellet, who, because of his age and his works, 
seemed more worthy in their eyes to replace the pre- 
ceptor of the Due d'Enghien. 

Florian was, indeed, very young to aspire to such 
an honor, but his patience and the ardent zeal of his 
patrons were not long tried, for the death of the Car- 
dinal de Luynes permitted him, at the age of thirty- 
three, to realize his ambition. He held at that time 
the chair of the archbishop of Sens,' who, twenty 
years before, had blessed the unfortunate union of the 
Prince de Lamballe. 



It was, without doubt, the result of chance, but the 
coincidence was none the less curious. 

The gathering was magnificent and the presence of 
the Due de Penthievre, whose joy was boundless, of the 
Duchesse d' Orleans, surrounded by her children, and 
of Madame de Lamballe, added great brilliancy. Hav- 
ing paid a just tribute to the memory of his predecessor, 
Florian spoke in most praiseworthy terms of his illus- 
trious patron, to whom he was modest enough to 
attribute his triumph. 

Let us mention, in passing, an event cruel for the 
Due de Penthievre and his relatives. The Marquise 
de Lur-Saluces, who for some time had been attached 
to the house of Penthievre, first as lady-in-waiting to 
the duchess, and later as governess of Mademoiselle de 
Penthievre, afterwards Duchesse d' Orleans, died on the 
15th of June at the Hotel de Toulouse. 

It is probable that the princess passed the close of 
the year 1788 in travelling with her father-in-law, still 
busy visiting his estates. Fortaire tells us that the 
Due de Penthievre made these journeys between 1787 
and 1789. 

In any case, here is one of the pretty episodes of an 
excursion to Tours, made by the princess and her charm- 
ing companion. 

*' This year (1788) the princess and her young friend 
made a journey to the west of France.^ They stopped, 
among other places, at Fontevrault, as guests of the 
Abbess, Madame de Pardoillau d'Antin. I record a 



little Incident of their trip. The princess, who was 
travelling incognito and who desired to return promptly 
to the queen, had left early in the morning and 
had given orders to pass through Tours as quickly 
as possible; but the secret of her going had been so 
poorly kept that on arriving in front of the city she 
found the whole populace in holiday attire, barring the 
way, shouting to her ' Long live ! ' and compelling 
her to stop. The princess was affected, no doubt, by 
these demonstrations of affection and yet a cloud 
veiled the joy which she felt at such a welcome. This 
cloud Madame de Lage took care to note. It was, 
she said, the shame of wearing short percale skirts 
and straw hats in the midst of the beautiful ladies 
covered with diamonds and plumes. 

" During the journey we quickly put on rouge, and 
tried to improve our appearance. We made a mirror 
out of the coach windows, back and front, when we 
saw all those regiments approaching, the city troops, 
which in the hubbub led us as far as the archbishop's, 
where we had to remain to dinner. ' ' 



It was during the absence of the princess that 
Mademoiselle Charlotte la Chassaigne made her debut at 
the Comedie Fran^aise. She was said to be the daugh- 
ter of Mademoiselle la Chassaigne and the Prince de 
Lamballe. Regarding her debut, we quote an article 
from the " Journal de Paris," but we will state that on 
this subject the paper was in error, or at least that it was 
mistaken as to the age of the actress. Granted that 
she was really the child of the wretched prince, who 
died in May, 1768, she was at least twenty. But 
even at that time it was customary to take ofF a few 
years from debutantes, no doubt in order to make them 
more interesting. 

" Yesterday a young and new actress, who had 
been neither announced nor expected, appeared in the 
role of ' Sophie ' in the ' Bienfait Anonyme.' We refer 
to Mademoiselle Charlotte la Chassaigne, daughter of 
an actress who for many years was prominent in this 
theatre on account of her talent and her energy. For 
this reason alone the debutante is interesting. Her age 
(she is only fifteen) and the modesty of an unannounced 
debut entitled her to indulgence, and in the course of 
her acting this was justified. She received well-merited 
applause. The public saw her with pleasure and 



eagerly encouraged her. In an age in which no one 
shows more than a leaning towards talent or asks more 
from a debutante, it must be admitted that intelligence, 
modesty, and truth are very happy auguries. We 
urge her to perfect them by work and study." 

The first two months of the year 1789 we again 
lose sight of the princess. Was she at Vernon with 
her father-in-law ? This is probable. The poor duke 
was ill and his condition prevented him from attend- 
ing the court festivities. His correspondence proves 
his poor health: 

"Vernon, December 29, 1788. 
* ' We were told that you were to preside over the 
Order of the Church at the States-General. I would 
that this news were true ; although I have been troubled 
the whole year with dizzy spells. For this trouble I 
wear on my left arm an inconvenient blister, which 
obliges me to keep out of a crowd. I shall neverthe- 
less have the pleasure of seeing you for a ie^sr moments. 
I have asked permission not to go to Versailles next 
New Year's Day." 

We do not again see Madame de Lamballe at court 
until Holy Thursday, April 9th, when she went there 
in order to accompany the queen to service. 

Three days after, a new religious ceremony took 
place, which concerned her more especially as it had 
to do with the baptism of her niece. 

" On the afternoon of the 17th, Mademoiselle, who 
had been presented to the king, the queen, and the 



royal family, was held over the baptismal font in the 
chapel of the chateau by their Majesties, accompanied 
by Monsieur, Monseigneur Comte d'Artois, Madame 
Elisabeth de France, their Royal Highnesses Mon- 
seigneur le Due d'Angouleme and Monseigneur le 
Due de Berry, the Due and the Duchesse d' Orleans, 
the Due de Chartres, the Due de Montpensier, the 
Duchesse de Bourbon, the Due d'Enghien, the Prince 
de Conti, and the Princesse de Lamballe. Mademoi- 
selle was christened Eugenie Adelaide Louise. The 
baptismal service was performed by the Cardinal de 
Montmorency, grand chaplain of France, in the pres- 
ence of the Sire Jacob, curate of the parish of Notre 

The times were growing more and more troubled. 
No one escaped the shafts of the pamphleteers, who 
aimed particularly at the most prominent. Two ribald 
notices, specially directed against those who are of 
interest to us, appeared : 

" New Books. — ' Traite de I'usure et de la lesine ' 
(' Treatise on Usury and Stinginess '), dedicated to 
Monsieur le Due de C. by the Due de P., to be had 
from the curate of Saint Eustache." 

Then this villainous and wicked calumny directed 
against our unhappy princess, who had no one to 
defend her: 

" Un petit Morceau de la Chemise de la Chaste 
Suzanne" ("A Small Fragment of the Chemise of 
the Chaste Suzanne "). 

" This was olFered in vain to all the court ladies. 



The Princesse de Lamballe took a part of it; It is 
suitable for no one but a simple bourgeoise. " 

We are as yet only at the beginning of the Revo- 
lution, but there was interest in popular questions. 
Madame de Lamballe acted like others and went to 
the Petits Carmes to attend an exposition of some 
new theories which were advanced. 

'* On the 2ist," we read in the " Souvenirs d'Emi- 
gration," *' Madame de Lage went with Madame de 
Lamballe to a meeting of the Third Estate at the 
Petits Carmes. A box had been arranged for Prince 
George de Hesse, then in Paris, and the prince 
hastened to make room there for the ladies. These 
inquisitive dames brought away from the meeting a 
painful impression akin to fright. On her return the 
countess wrote to her mother: 

' ' Did' not we two, on foot, the princess and I, attend 
the meeting of the Third Estate, at the Petits Carmes, 
in the box of the prince, without saying a word to 
any one ? We drew the curtains, for those wretches 
were wholly capable of driving us away. They show 
very evil tendencies. We remained there three hours, 
but left because they were making a frightful up- 
roar. We saw a poor gentleman arrive who had been 
raised to the peerage four days before. He had pre- 
sented himself yesterday at the Assembly of the Nobil- 
ity, where he had not been received ; he came to-day 
to that of the Third Estate, but was sent away. I 
was troubled about him. In the same way Barthes 
was refused in both the Assembly of the Nobility 
and the Third Estate, but he withdrew before he was 
put to the vote. Monsieur de Vemerange likewise; 



nowhere would they receive him, and when Monsieur 
de Simon wished to present himself they cried out, 
' No de Simon ! No de Simon ! ' " 

A few days later the States-General opened. All the 
princesses attended, taking seats in the galleries, which 
were saved for them. The attitude of the queen was 
so noticeable that it drew this exclamation from the 
Comtesse de Lage: 

"How beautiful the queen was that day! Her 
melancholy air added still more to her noble and digni- 
fied bearing." 

In addition to this event — the prelude of many 
others which for more than one reason wise heads 
feared — the queen had good cause for melancholy. 
She was taking account of the situation and she saw 
how day by day the prestige of royalty was lessening. 
But, before all else, as mother, loving and passionate, 
the mother of a family that was dying out, had she not 
already the presentiment that her son, the dauphin of 
France, alas ! was to be taken from her, that God was 
soon to reclaim him ? 

Let us leave to the adorable Comtesse de Lage, our 
invaluable chronicler, the task of showing the progress 
made by the dread maladv of which the poor child was 

to die : 

"April 8th. 
" This afternoon we went to see the little dauphin," 
she wrote. "It is heart-breaking. Such endurance, 
such consideration and patience go straight to the heart. 

1 66 


When we arrived some one was reading to him. He 
had had a fancy for lying on his billiard table where 
they had placed his mattress. My princess and I 
looked at it, and it occurred to us both that it re- 
sembled the mournful state bed after death. Madame 
de Lamballe asked him what he was reading. ' A very 
interesting period of our history, Madame : the reign 
of Charles VII. ; there were many heroes then.' I 
took the liberty of asking if Monseigneur read con- 
nectedly or merely the most striking episodes. ' Con- 
nectedly, Madame. I have not known them long 
enough to choose; besides, it all interests me. ' These 
were his very words. His beautiful dying eyes turned 
towards me as he spoke. He recognized me; he said 
in a low tone to the Due d'Harcourt that they had been 
told of the arrival of the princess, and that she had just 
come. ' It is, I think, the lady who so greatly likes 
my map of the world, ' Then turning to me, ' This 
will perhaps amuse you for a moment.' He ordered 
a valet to turn it around, but I will confess to you that 
although when I saw it on New Year's Day I had 
been delighted with the perfection of the immense 
machine, to-day I was much more interested in listen- 
ing to that dear and unfortunate child whom we saw 
hourly growing weaker." 

Finally, here is another very touching visit, in which 
Madame de Lage gives an account of the gentleness 
of the child and the mother-love of Marie Antoinette. 

" The poor child," wrote the countess, "is so 
ill. . , . Everything the little one says is beyond 
belief; he breaks the queen's heart; he is wonderfully 
tender to her. The other day he begged her to dine 



with him in his room. Alas ! she swallowed more 
tears than bread." 

The doctors had long before given their opinion 
about this frail, sickly child. Every possible care 
could not win against fate, and the 4th of the follow- 
ing June he, who one day would have worn the crown, 
passed away at Meudon. The fatal news spread 
rapidly. Some sincere tears were shed, but in silence, 
almost in secret. Although they dared not pity the 
queen openly, great and small, noble and plebeian, 
with common accord wept at the grief of the mother. 

The princess was among the first to reach Meudon, 
in company with the countess, who, some days after, 
described to her mother the sad visit : 

" The coffin of Monsieur le Dauphin was open. I 
was at Meudon with the princess, to sprinkle him with 
holy water. Everything was white and silver and in 
the room in which he lay the light was brighter than 
anything I had ever seen. His crown, his sword, and 
his orders lay on the small coffin covered with silver 
cloth, and two rows of monks on each side prayed 
continually, day and night." 

The Due de Normandie was at once declared dauphin 
by the king and the court went into mourning for two 
months and a half. But terrible events were not slow 
in obliterating the memory of this domestic sorrow. 
The populace took possession of the Bastille.' Three 
days later this same populace danced on the still smok- 
ing ruins of the State prison. 



Information concerning the Princesse de Lamballe 
during these events is lacking. She was not in Paris 
and was probably with the Due de Penthievre, whom ill 

health still kept away from court. 

" Paris, July 4, 1789. 
" I am only passing through here, whence I send 
this letter. My health, which is still poor, compels 
me to keep away from a crowd. My jiEsculapius 
wanted to send me to Italy, thinking that a warmer 
climate might help me." 

This letter, written a few days before July 14th, 
evidently proves the absence of the duke. Further- 
more, we know that in the month of August the prin- 
cess was travelling in Switzerland with her faithful 
companion, but without her father-in-law, who wrote 
on February 26, 1790: 

" My intended journey to Rome is of the same 
nature as my reported journey to Switzerland last 
autumn, . . ." 

Fortunately, Fortaire, who kept a diary of the 
facts and engagements of his master, and who, on 
the whole, is exact, tells us that Madame de Lamballe 
came to her father-in-law at Aumale, the 2d of Sep- 
tember, to go again to Eu, where she spent a month. 

At this time, as dangers began to increase on all 
sides, examples of devotion became more and more 
rare. A sort of madness seized many, and turned 
from the throne those who were its natural support, 
and who should never have deserted the royal family. 



The Comte d'Artois, giving the first example of 
desertion, thought he ought to go away, and left the 
court to face dangers of every kind. 

Some time after, the Comtesse d'Artois also left. 
Her departure was variously interpreted. 

" To-day," we read in the "Journal de Versailles," 
" Madame la Comtesse d'Artois with a suite of about 
thirty has left to join her husband at Turin. She an- 
nounces her return for next spring, but it is not sup- 
posed that it will take place so soon. All the silver- 
ware, the horses, and the carriages of the prince have 
been sold and converted into money. He wishes also 
to dispose of the superb library which he bought from 
Monsieur de Paulmy for six hundred thousand livres. 
We do not know how France will regard this prince 
who converts into money and carries into a strange 
country, not only his revenues, which are, in part, the 
sweat of the people, but the stocks he possesses in the 

"It is reported that Bagatelle is for sale. They 
add that the officers of the prince were merely thanked, 
and received no kind of remuneration. This is not 
the way to preserve people's good opinion or to repair 

A departure still more to be censured was that of 
Madame de Polignac. This woman, whom the queen 
had overwhelmed with most signal favors, who had 
lived on absolutely intimate terms with her, did not 
hesitate to desert her friend the moment she felt her 
own safety at stake. Appointed governess of the chil- 
dren of France in 1782, she had been sworn in Novem- 



ber 3d, but some time previous, under the pretext of 
the constant care demanded by her failing health, she 
had, merely to gain her liberty up to a certain point, 
offered her resignation, which she knew would be re- 
fused. In her generosity or her blindness, and to 
keep for a friend, whose pressing need of money she 
well knew, the salary of her position, Marie Antoi- 
nette, they said, had declared herself willing to undertake 
the education of the princes. This modus vivendi had 
been readily accepted and the duchess would certainly 
not have thought of changing it had it not been for cir- 
cumstances. The day after the taking of the Bastille 
she again offered her resignation, which, formally 
expressed this time, was finally accepted, the 1 6th of 


Times had greatly changed. Formerly If a position 
became vacant, either from a resignation or death, at 
once every one sought it, exerted himself to obtain it, 
intrigued, and put forward his claims to it. But now 
it was not so. The competitors could be counted, and 
yet the king had the rare good fortune to place over 
his children a woman of great merit, full of noble senti- 
ments. The Marquise de Tourzel, although ignorant 
of none of its dangers, accepted, without fear, the posi- 
tion of governess, and held it to the end, giving the 
royal family marks of a disinterestedness, a courage, 
and a devotion without limit. Presented to the queen 
soon after her appointment, Madame de Tourzel was 
sworn in August 2d. 



During the whole of September, which she spent at 
Eu with her brother-in-law, sad memories of the past 
must have haunted the mind of Madame de Lamballe. 
Already singularly distressed and broken-hearted at 
the waning popularity of Versailles, the news from 
court, which she did not fail to receive, could not but 
augment her scorn for the mob of courtiers. How 
fortunate, then, she must have thought herself to have 
lived for so long apart from that class which in happier 
times was deterred neither by acts of baseness nor by 
the most degrading humiliations. In our opinion, there 
is no need to seek for other causes for her temporary 
estrangement. The princess rose in so great indigna- 
tion at the flight of Madame de Polignac, who had 
left without any intention of returning, and so bitterly 
criticised the conduct of certain other persons, that 
not for one instant can a similar accusation be brought 
against her. Her promptness in coming to the humili- 
ated royal family is sufficient proof of this. 

A courier arrived at the Chateau d'Eu on October 
7th, at nine o'clock in the evening, and brought to 
the Due de Penthievre and to Madame de Lamballe 
the news of what had happened at Versailles, October 
5th and 6th, and of the return of the king and his 
family to the Tuileries. 

The first moment of stupefaction over, the prin- 
cess, whose one idea was to leave, said, still accord- 
ing to Fortaire : * ' Oh, papa, what a horrible thing ! 
I must start at once." 



Such feelings were too strongly shared by the duke 
for him not to encourage them in her. His health 
alone prevented him from leaving at once, and his 
departure did not take place until the following day. 

About two hours after the arrival of the news, in 
a frightful storm and on the darkest of nights, accom- 
panied by a single maid and by one of the duke's gentle- 
men, Madame de Lamballe was rolling along towards 

Many a woman would have been overcome by fear. 
The princess, on the contrary, had long before planned 
her line of action, which was suggested by the feelings 
of her heart, and hastened to the queen, of whose peril 
only she now thought. It seems that, by a very nat- 
ural sentiment, her afFection increased as her friend 
became more and more deserted and as she saw her 
abandoned. What a contrast ! In the midst of all 
these desertions the frivolous woman, considered until 
then as weak, the woman of pleasure parties, the life 
and the soul of balls and sleighing parties — in short, 
the companion of Trianon — through her unselfishness 
became heroic. In spite of all possible haste, the 
princess was unable to reach Paris before late in the 
evening of October 8th. 

Those two October days, so fatal to royalty, showed 
the people how far insolence could lead them. Never- 
theless, those men and women who had come to Ver- 
sailles to protest against the scarcity of bread acted 
without premeditation. The court was so ill informed 



as to their coming that Marie Antoinette was at 
Trianon, absolutely ignorant of what was taking place, 
while Louis XVI. was quietly hunting in the suburbs. 
Thus there had been no warning of the event, near as 
it was. 

As further proof of this, there is a joint letter which 
was addressed to the princess by the king, the queen, 
and Madame Elisabeth. The first seven lines are in 
the king's handwriting, the seventeen following in the 
queen's, and those remaining in that of Madame Elisa- 

Louis XVL was sending to Madame de Lamballe 
some papers for which the Due de Penthievre had 
asked. Marie Antoinette was begging that she would 
go .at once with Madame Elisabeth to the gardens at 
Trianon, which Monsieur de Jussieu had come to 
visit, and where she was making new and extensive 
plantations. ' ' We are quiet enough here for the pres- 
ent," she continued; "the bourgeois and the good 
people are kindly disposed towards us." 



The royal family had now for good or bad been in- 
stalled two days in the Tuileries. The " Gazette de 
France," ' mute as to the 5th and 6th of October, 
deigns to come out of its enforced silence and tells us 
this fact: 

" Last Tuesday " (October 6th), it says, '* the king 
arrived in Paris with the queen, the dauphin, Madame, 
Madame Elisabeth, Monsieur and Madame." 

The journal carefully refrains from making the 
smallest comment. 

On her arrival at the Tuileries Madame de Lam- 
balle was struck by the consternation depicted on every 
face, and by the universal confusion. In a short time 
she learned of the terrible events which had just taken 
place, and heard with surprise, mingled with indigna- 
tion and anger, through what a humiliating ordeal the 
royal family had passed. The queen threw herself 
weeping into her arms, told her how she had been in- 
sulted, and what fears she had for the future. 

In order that she might the more readily attend to 
the duties of her service and devote herself wholly to 
the queen and the royal family, Madame de Lamballe 
at once settled in the Pavilion de Flore, which she did 



not leave, except for short visits to her estates at Passy 
or to her father-in-law, who, Fortaire tells us, was 
established until the beginning of 1790 on his prop- 
erty of Chateauneuf-sur-Loire. 

It was no doubt during one of these absences, 
necessitated by the precarious condition of the Due de 
Penthievre, that Marie Antoinette addressed to the 
amiable and devoted princess the following letter, ten- 
derly reproaching her about her health, of which, so 
great was her desire to please and to be loved, she did 

not take enough care : 

" To-day, November gth. 
' ' You will not take care of your health, and this 
troubles me. See, my dear Lamballe, I shall be angry 
with you in earnest. My health is tolerably good, 
that of my children excellent ; they are almost contin- 
ually with me, and occupy me much of the time; the 
dauphin is easier to manage ; he no longer has those 
attacks of anger. My daughter is very sweet. The 
poor little thing wants to see you. ... I am sad 
and greatly worried at the condition of affairs, although 
the outlook seems to be somewhat better; but one can- 
not trust anything, for I see even in our friends only 
a weakness which cannot hold out against the slightest 
violence of the wicked." 

Meanwhile a report was spread abroad that the re- 
serve of the treasury was completely exhausted. This 
fatal error, due partly to foolish extravagance combined 
with a deplorable management of the finances, al- 
though long foreseen by the wisest heads, did not fail 

to cause serious alarm. On account of the lack of 



credit, it was necessary to resort to subterfuges to meet 
the daily needs. 

In September, Parliament stated that, for the time 
being at least, it was able to continue payments. 

It was a question of coming to the aid of the coun- 
try by " patriotic gifts." 

Always animated by the highest sentiments, always 
eager to set a good example, the Due de Penthievre was 
one of the first to conform to the suggestion, and, on 
October 3d, sent to the mint his silver plate, amounting 
to eighteen hundred and forty-eight marks, sixteen 
deniers, and twelve grains. 

The princess did not send hers until a month later 
(November 3d), and her gift, although more modest, 
was, nevertheless, quite important, since it amounted to 
six hundred and twenty-five marks, three ounces, six- 
teen deniers, and twelve grains. At this point we 
must state that Madame de Lamballe was somewhat 
reluctant and decided to offer her plate only after hav- 
ing held with Monsieur Toscan, her treasurer, an im- 
portant correspondence in which she recommended 
him to find out, before giving up anything, what her 
brother-in-law the Due d' Orleans was going to do. 
This letter, no doubt written in September, bears a 
seal of red wax, on which is a tree with these words : 
" Plutot mourir que changer " (die rather than change). 

"To-day, the 25th. 
*' My brother-in-law, after the edict of' the council, 
is sending a courier to give orders to take his silver 
12 177 


plate to the mint. You must say to Emy to collect 
all I own, which you will have valued by Auguste and 
taken to the mint, of course under the conditions stated 
in the decree of the council. You will first find out 
from Monsieur Villot, to whom my brother-in-law 
gives his orders, what Monsieur le Due d' Orleans in- 
tends to do about this. You will give only as much 
of my plate as my papa gave of his. Meanwhile you 
will have it put away, so that it may not appear again 
in my rooms. It goes without saying that none of the 
plates or spoons, nor the two or three silver pans 
which I ordered for the kitchen when I was poisoned, 
shall be included in the plate taken to the mint. I 
know all that you can write about my making away 
with my property, but enough has been said about 
the matter; it is not necessary to add anything further. 
The poorer I am, the more necessary it is to show 
what my position is under the present circumstances; 
moreover, this sacrifice will not be the most painful 
of all those which I shall have to make, if my fortune 
lessens, as I expect it will. When I go to Paris 
I shall see about getting myself a service of English 
earthenware. You will let me know what Monsieur 
Villot says to you and the estimate of my plate." 

A kvf days later, she again wrote (dated October ist) 
for an exact inventory of the contents of her house. 

" I cannot," said she, " at present explain my ques- 
tions about the inventory of my house, for it would 
be too long for Emile. Besides, as it is necessary for 
Monsieur d'Yanville to have his package, it will be 
better to wait. I need, also, the old inventories of 
Monsieur Loques's time, which I have not with me. 



So, until my return, patience, although you have none 
too much. . . ." 

The wretched woman, becoming frightened, coun- 
termanded the order for her plate and ended by saying 
that she was going to practise economy and to reform 
the management of her house; " unfortunately for my 
servants," she adds. 

Here are further details which show her state of 
mind. She sacrificed Passy, which she rented fur- 
nished. Then she recommended to Toscan the great- 
est secrecy concerning her plans. 

Her treasurer sent her his accounts and, after exam- 
ining them, the princess tells him of some errors. 

" To-day, the 23d. 

"You have made a mistake in the salary of the 
surgeon. You give it as twelve hundred and it is 
only one hundred. Monsieur SaifFert ought to know 
about the pensions since he has the brevet. . . . 

" Have you given Monsieur Loques ten louis for 
the pension of my nurse at Turin, which I told you 
to pay and which I mentioned to my sister ? 

" Tell Mademoiselle Mertins that she had me sub- 
scribe for Monsieur Gorsas and not for the ' Courier 
Fran^ais.' " 

" To-day, the 21st. 

'* . . . If the wall had not fallen," she writes again 
to Monsieur Toscan, " nothing would have been fur- 
ther from my intention than to have you repair Passy, 
especially as I knew beforehand that it would be ex- 



" However, I hope the cost will be reasonable when 
all is finished. I want nothing paid until all the 
accounts have been collected and examined by me. 

I also wish to make an estimate as to the 

cost of my drawing-room. I shall decide nothing as 
yet in regard to the livery of my servants; for the 
present those whose duties bring them near me are in 
uniform, and this must suffice for a time; as there are 
no longer liveries, neither vests nor trousers need be 
furnished. There will be a wholly different order of 
things in future. 

' ' I am charmed that the house at Passy is destroyed, 
but you must have seen from the letter I sent you that 
I never gave permission, and that I never want it given 
without my consent. Send me the estimate of my 

drawing-room, and that which Monsieur L made 

of my flower garden." 

In spite of the words of Fortaire, in which now and 
then we find some slight errors, the Due de Penthievre 
was at Amboise early in the year 1790. The poor 
prince was still ill with asthma and required great 
care and attention. And yet, weak as he was, so 
great was his wish to do his duty that he strove in 
spite of his invalidism to carry out his obligations. In 
spite of his suffering, in spite of the difficulty he had 
in walking, he wished to pay his respects to the king 
and the royal family. This is what he says on this 

"Amboise, January ig, 1790. 
" No one could be more sensitive than I," he 
writes to the Cardinal de Bernis, " of the new proofs 



of interest which your Eminence is kind enough to 
show me on the new year. . . . My health has 
obliged me to ask the king to allow me to spend the 
winter on the estates I have bought on the banks of the 
Loire. I have very troublesome attacks of dizziness, 
which my physicians say are not dangerous, but which 
prevent my going into society. I have not come to 
the place whence I am writing this letter without 
having paid my respects to their Majesties at the 

Were we not right in saying that the excellent 
prince, although living in retirement, nevertheless ful- 
filled all the duties of his position — namely, those de- 
manded by his birth — as well as all those of a French 
citizen ? 

"To-morrow," he wrote from Amboise the 26th 
of February, 1790, to his friend and confidant the 
Cardinal de Bernis, " I shall take the civic oath, before 
the municipality of the town of Amboise, the castle of 
which I am occupying. This house is very poorly 
decorated in comparison with Chanteloup, but the 
view from it is superb. I will send at once the report 
of my taking the oath in the district of Saint Honore, 
within the limits of which is the Hotel de Toulouse. 
The Commune of Paris seems to set some value on this 
step of mine. I think I ought to do it, as the king has 
accepted the new constitution, and as Monsieur has 
taken the oath they desire of me. I have given an 
account to his Majesty, as he prescribed, of the course 
I am following." 

The enforced absence of the Princesse de Lamballe, 



at this time with the Due de Penthievre, weighed 
heavily on her. She was anxious about the position of 
the queen, but Marie Antoinette, without wholly hiding 
the truth from her, reassured her as much as possible. 

" Dear heart," she wrote the 4th of March, 
" present circumstances occupy my thoughts so con- 
stantly that I have not seemed very appreciative of 
your letter and your sweet friendship. You are of 
those whose hearts never change and whom misfor- 
tune renders still more afFectionate. " Then she con- 
tinues: "You know everything that is taking place 
here. It is impossible to go out without being insulted 
a dozen times in an hour, so I walk no more and 
sometimes I stay in my room for days without think- 
ing of a change. ' ' 

Once settled in the Tuileries, even suitably, as Ma- 
dame Campan says, each member of the royal family, 
in so far as was possible, resumed his ordinary habits. 

The king continued to hunt and to make almost 
daily entries in his diary, with a calmness and serenity 
in which it would be hard to believe if one did not 
read the facts written in his own handwriting. One 
example will suffice to show us how indifferently he 
speaks of the events of October and of the return of 
himself and his family to Paris. His mild tempera- 
ment must have prevented him from realizing the 
gravity of his position. 

' ' Oct. 5th, went shooting near the gate of Chatil- 
lonj killed eighty-one head; interrupted by events; 



went and came on horseback. — 6th, left for Paris at 
half-past twelve, visited the Hotel de Ville, supped 
and slept at the Tuileries. — 7th, nothing; my aunts 
come to dine. — 8th, nothing. ..." 

The queen, on the contrary, kept in touch with 
affairs and was so preoccupied that she could not read, 
and spent all her time working on tapestry. On her 
return to Paris Madame de Lamballe, who probably 
received orders to that effect, for she had no such in- 
clination, gave some brilliant fetes in her private apart- 
ments. At first the queen assiduously attended them, 
but soon ceased going, " evidently convinced," says 
Madame Campan, " that her position did not permit 
her to appear at large gatherings." 

The chief lady-in-waiting might also have said that 
the news of the death of the queen's brother had just 
reached Paris and that the court was going into 
mourning for two months. 

"To-day, Friday, March 19th," we read in the 
" Journal de Paris," " the court will assume mourn- 
ing for two months on account of the death of Joseph 
II., Emperor of Germany, King of Hungary and Bo- 
hemia, Sovereign of the Austrian States, born March 
13, 1 74 1, died at Vienna, the 20th of last February, 
in the forty-ninth year of his age. His Majesty will 
wear violet. 

" First period, from March 19th to April i8th in- 
clusive, men will wear complete black cloth suits with 
buttons, sleeves with single fringe, bronze buckles and 



" Women will wear woollen gowns trimmed with 
bunting or black crape, crape bonnet (the coeffe for 
nine days only), gloves,, black fans and hose, and bronze 

Although the queen felt neither great grief nor intense 
regret, nevertheless it was good taste for her not to ap- 
pear at the fetes, which, for that matter, were not official, 
even after the expiration of the term of mourning 
adopted by the court. This, to our mind, was probably 
the reason, and no doubt the only one, which caused 
Marie Antoinette to give up the gatherings at the 
superintendent' s. 

Events hastened on. Every day a new pamphlet 
appeared, the more willingly received by the public 
as it attacked more prominent personages, and as its 
violence was tuned to the passions of the moment. 

Madame de Lamballe was too easy a prey to escape 
their attacks. 

We shall be satisfied to quote two of the best known : 

" ' La Galerie des Dames fran^aises. London, 
1790,' and the ' Imitateurs de Charles IX., ou Les Con- 
spirateurs foudroyes. A prose play in five acts, with five 
characters, by the editor of the Vepres Siciliennes and 
of the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew. Paris. From 
the Press of the Clergy and the Nobility. 1790.' " 

The first of these libels, which had for epigraph this 
passage from Virgil : 

Nullo discrimine habebo, Tros Ratulusve fuat," 


was, they said, written by the Marquis de Luchet. It 
was a violent diatribe against the best-known women. 
Madame Necker appeared in it under the name of 
" Statira," her daughter under that of " Marthesie " ; 
the Comtesse de Beauharnais became " Corylla " ; 
Madame Lebrun, " Charites " ; the Comtesse Diane 
de Polignac, " Tenesis " ; the Marquise de Sillery, 
"Polixene"; Madame Denis, " Fulvia " ; Madame 
de Montesson, " Olympe " ; Madame du Barry, 
" Elmire." The pseudonym of the princess was 
" Balzais." 

The second, attributed to Gabriel Brizard, was no 
less violent than the first. The same allusions, often 
the same errors. One of the figures goes so far as to 
represent the princess on the knees of Marie Antoi- 

Madame de Lamballe left early in August to join 
the Due de Penthievre, and returned to Paris the end 
of November. But fortunately for us, thanks to the 
information of Fortaire, we can follow her, step by 
step, during this long absence. She spent a month at 
Amboise; then, in October, while her father-in-law 
was at Fontevrault with his cousin Madame de Par- 
daillan, she went to Maine to visit the Marquis de 
Clermont-Gallerande, a friend of long standing and of 
sure judgment, whom she liked to consult in times of 
doubt and whom later she appointed one of the exec- 
utors of her will. 

Fortaire, who is sometimes tedious because of his 



attention to details, tells us of the brilliant reception 
which the Tourangeaux gave her, and the words of 
gratitude she addressed on this subject to her father-in- 
law. It is most important to know that she found 
the Duchesse d' Orleans at Amboise, that later the 
two princesses accompanied the Due to Chateauneuf, 
and that they did not return to Paris before November 
28th. The Due de Penthievre remained there only 
a few days, leaving December 4th for Eu, where ac- 
cording to the same author the Duchesse d' Orleans 
joined him, February 10, 1791, to leave him no 

We must explain why and how the Duchesse 
d' Orleans went to live with her father-in-law. Many 
seeing that she thus failed in her duties as wife and 
mother, think themselves authorized to throw out in- 
sinuations against her, and, although recognizing her 
noble devotion to her father, seem to blame her for 
being away from her family at such a time. 

What was there left for the unfortunate mother to 
do at the Palais Royal ? To watch over her children, 
to surround them with maternal care, to guide their 
education. But had they not been placed in charge 
of a governess who intended neither to give up her 
position nor to have her duties shared by any one — that 
Madame de Genlis, who was said, rightly or wrongly, 
to have dominated completely the Due d' Orleans, and 
to have the most pernicious influence over him ? 
Could she reasonably continue to occupy the Palais 



Royal and to be daily exposed to insults even in her 
own family ? 

Assuredly not. The private life of the one who 
some time after added to his name that of " Egalite," 
must have hurt her as much as his political conduct. 

If their separation was arranged privately the division 
of money matters was done officially. 

" Monsieur and Madame d'Orleans," we read in 
the "Journal de Paris," "wishing to keep their ac- 
counts in order, inform all the merchants and salesmen 
that from the 6th of the present month of January, 
1791, they will buy only for cash; that, consequently, 
no one can claim the price of merchandise furnished 
to the credit of Monsieur and Madame d'Orleans." 

Already, a year before, the report of a separation had 
attained sufficient publicity to arouse the interested par- 
ties, or rather the interested party, to make a correction 
in the newspapers. 

Here is a curious letter, taken from the ' ' Journal de 
Paris" dated December 13, 1789: 

" Palais Royal, December 12, 1789. 
' ' To the Editors of the ' "Journal ' ; 

"It is with confidence, gentlemen, that I have the 
honor of addressing you to beg you, in rendering 
homage to truth, to aid me in refuting a statement as 
false as it is calumnious, which was boldly published 
by the ' Gazetier de Leyde ' in the supplement No. 
97, concerning the assumed separation of the property 
of her Serene Highness Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans 



from that of his Serene Highness Monsieur le Due 
d' Orleans. This was recently granted, it said, as a re- 
sult of the disorder of the business affairs of this prince. 
I am authorized, gentlemen, by the princess to refute 
formally this fresh calumny and to beg you to make 
known, through the medium of your paper, that the 
alleged cause for a separation is as groundless as the 
reported result, and that her Serene Highness signed 
the day before yesterday an authentic act, in presence 
of Messieurs Rouen and Brichard, notaries at Paris, 
whose papers were left with the latter; by which act 
Madame la Duchesse d' Orleans, to speak the absolute 
truth, declared that she and the prince, her husband, 
held their property in common, and that she had filed 
no petition for a division of said property. 

(Signed) " The Comte de La Touche, 

" Chancellor of his Serene Highness Monseigneur le Due 

d' Orleans." 

The publicity given the affair by this paper was not 
found sufficient, since, two days later, the " Journal 
General de la Cour et de la Ville," in No. 88, dated 
Tuesday, December 15, 1789, published a similar 
article under the heading " Important News." 

The fact this time is undeniable and the memoirs 
of the times confirm it by adding some comments very 
little in sympathy with the one guilty party. 

" The conduct of Monsieur le Due d'Orleans," 
said Madame de Tourzel, " opened the eyes of Ma- 
dame la Duchesse. She demanded and justly obtained 
a division of property, and then went to stay with 
Monsieur le Due de Penthievre, her father. ' ' 



And the good Madame de Tourzel even adds a re- 
flection to which we should not have dared to give 
expression, it seems to us so serious. 

"Madame de Lamballe," she continues, "whom 
he accused of having urged the separation, was from 
this time the object of his hatred. This fact, they 
say, was one of the causes of the unfortunate end of 
the unhappy princess." 

Father Lenfant also refers to this separation in his 
letter of April i6, 1791. We have voluntarily in- 
sisted on this point, as we have proved that only the 
constant presence of Madame de Genlis with her chil- 
dren determined the Duchesse d' Orleans to abandon 
them. And it should be made known that even under 
the circumstances the poor victim of such shameful 
treatment did not cease for a single instant, in spite of 
her absence, to love her family. This is shown by the 
following letter, written on the day after the Massacre 
of September: 

"Your attention touches me deeply. You share, 
I am sure, my own indignation and my father's, and 
you may imagine the affliction in which we are plunged. 
All the circumstances of this death tear my soul. We 
are heartbroken over it. To my grief is added my 
maternal anxiety." 

A few days before the return of Madame de Lam- 
balle the "Journal General de la Cour et de la Ville," 
in its edition of Thursday, November 8, 1790, pub- 



lished a letter addressed to its editors, relating to the re- 
cent duel of Charles Lameth and the Due de Castries. 
The writer, concealing his identity under the initials 
F. B., said: 

• ' That Mesdames de B , la Ch , Saint 

Ch , Des , Lamba , the heroines of the 

democracy, who, they say, find that the Revolution 
has cost very little blood, have been in despair, does 
not surprise me, . . ." etc. 

The friends of the princess were annoyed at such 
unfortunate and imprudent remarks, and in order that 
such an allegation should be at once refuted, took 
steps against the paper. 

This refutation, as complete as the most particular 
could desire, appeared the following day. 

" We hasten to explain to the public," we read in 
the edition of Friday, November 19th, " that the per- 
son referred to in yesterday's paper by the letters Lamba 
is not Madame la Princesse de Lamballe, who takes no 
part in public affairs beyond desiring the happiness of 
the king and the tranquillity of the public." 



It is difficult, not to say impossible, to follow Ma- 
dame de Lamballe, step by step, during the first months 
of 1 79 1. Doubtless she was with the royal family, 
giving them the greater part of her time, whenever 
the health of her father-in-law did not require her 
with him; but we have consulted the " Gazette de 
France" in vain in regard to this year, as in regard 
to the preceding one. We have been unable to find 
mention of the princess. Apart from the religious cere- 
monies in which the court shared and about which 
this paper continues to inform us, never was her reserve, 
no doubt out of devotion to the royal family, more 
apparent; never was her silence regarding the private 
life of the chateau more absolute. Determined as we 
are not to trust to mere conjectures, let us now give a 
summary of the events which probably took place under 
the eyes of Madame de Lamballe. We shall hasten, 
we take pains to state, to bring back the princess as 
soon as possible upon the scene. For this, important 
documents or authentic historians will furnish us 
the means. The Tuileries had assumed a lugubri- 
ous aspect. No more coming and going of visit- 
ors anxious to pay court; no more fetes; everywhere 



reigned an abnormal calm. It seemed as if a resolution 
had been taken to bring the smallest word and act of 
the king and his family to the attention of the people. 
The populace were filled with restlessness and agita- 
tion, waiting almost continually at a certain distance 
from the royal residence, as if forming a sort of sani- 
tary cordon around a plague-stricken community. 

In the chateau not a day passed that some new danger 
was not feared, some snare laid by ever-increasing 
hatred, which the faithful and zealous friends hoped 
to escape. Everywhere they were on the alert, watch- 
ing, planning. Every one foresaw the coming events. 

In the midst of these agitations, which her nervous 
nature strongly resented, Madame de Lamballe had 
at least the consolation, in the early part of Feb- 
ruary, of hearing of the arrival of her sister-in-law at 
Eu. Feeling sure that the tenderest care would sur- 
round the Due de Penthievre, and that the Duchesse 
d' Orleans would devote her life to the vacillating 
health of this good prince, Madame de Lamballe could 
at last devote herself without reservation to the royal 
family, which was more than ever in need of atten- 
tion. The aunts of the king, according to the cap- 
tious words of Delessart to his colleague Duportail, 
had for some time " formed a plan to travel in Italy." 
The date for the departure of the daughters of Louis 
XV. was changed from the 15th to the 25th, in 
order that they might perhaps profit by the first favora- 
ble opportunity to baffle the surveillance of which they 



may have been the object, and thus avoid being detained 
at the last moment on some trifling pretence. 

" February 19th, departure of my aunts at ten 
o'clock in the evening." This is all that Louis XVI. 
vi^rote in his diary. These constant announcements 
of ' ' journeys ' ' troubled the Parisians, who realized the 
effect they might produce and wished to put a stop to 
them. To-day they would go to Bellevue, to-morrow to 
the Luxembourg, to make sure that Monsieur was among 
them; afterwards the Tuileries would receive a visit 
from them, and this time they would not leave until 
they were sure that the dauphin had not been sent 
away secretly, as report said. Finally — and this was 
more serious — they went to Vincennes, with the fixed 
intention of destroying the donjon, in which it was 
rumored means of defence had been accumulated. 

This restlessness did not seem to affect the king, 
who merely referred to it in these terms: 

" February 22d, nothing; populace rushed to the 
Luxembourg. — 24th, nothing; populace rushed to the 
Tuileries. — 28th, nothing; populace rushed to Vin- 
cennes and the Tuileries." 

Nevertheless, during almost the whole of March he 
was ill, and on the i8th there was a celebration of a 
Te Deum for his convalescence. The report of the 
section of the Gravilliers on this date mentions the 
deputation which was present. 

On the 2d of April Mirabeau died. It was a 
public loss. The queen herself could not fail to regret 
13 193 


this ardent champion, whom Madame Campan desig- 
nates as a " mercenary democrat ' ' and a ' ' venal roy- 

His sudden death, after only two days of illness 
they said, gave rise to the most unfortunate stories 
and the blackest hypotheses. The term " poison " was 
uttered and was, unfortunately, at once accepted by the 
public. This report, which the hesitation and evasive 
replies of Vicq d'Azyr had helped not a little to 
strengthen, was openly and energetically contested by 
Cabanis, the confidant and the friend, much more 
than the physician, of Mirabeau. Nevertheless, in 
spite of the efforts and the formal denials of the doctor, 
the most sensational version spread abroad. 

As soon as the civil constitution of the clergy was 
voted on, the king, in order to be more master of his 
actions, Madame de Tourzel tells us, decided to spend 
the two weeks of Easter at Saint Cloud. 

At the close of mass the royal family stepped into 
the carriages, but the national guard prevented them 
from leaving. In vain the king protested, claiming for 
himself the liberty he had given to the country ; noth- 
ing could alter the determination of the militia. The 
king had to give up his plan. 

" April 1 8th. — We were prevented from leaving for 
Saint Cloud at half-past one o'clock," wrote the un- 
fortunate Louis XVI. in his diary. 

It was, no doubt, from this time on that the idea 



of leaving Paris came into the king's mind; but, as 
always when he had to decide anything important, he 
lost precious moments in hesitation and indecision. 
The whole of May and the first part of June were 
spent in combining plans and making arrangements 
which finally were found poor or, at all 'events, 
impracticable. The departure, originally fixed for 
Sunday evening, June 20th, was postponed until the 
evening of the 2ist, on account of the mother of a 
serving woman whom because of her relations with La 
Fayette they dared not trust. The following day they 
started after a slight delay, augmented still more by 
various incidents on the road. Then an inconceivable 
blunder which well illustrates the madness, or rather 
the inexperience, of very devoted friends to whom the 
king had entrusted his safety and that of his family, 
occurred. They neglected to inform the troops stationed 
to protect the royal carriages, so that the regiments, 
having waited in vain without orders, believed the 
journey given up or deferred, and in order not to arouse 
needless suspicion, went back as quickly as possible 
to their cantonments. 

We shall now return to the princess, whom we shall 
scarcely leave again during the whole of her stay 

It is absolutely certain that Madame de Lamballe 
had in no way been informed of the events which were 
taking place at court about her. Up to the last mo- 
ment nothing in the attitude of the queen had caused 



her to suspect the preparations for flight, and the first 
inkling she had was a farewell, perhaps more affection- 
ate than usual, from Marie Antoinette, as they left 
the card-table Sunday evening, June 20th. 

The Marquis de Clermont-Gallerande gives us, on 
this point, the most detailed information: 

" The Sunday previous to the departure of the queen, 
this princess on leaving her game told Madame de 
Lamballe to go to the country during the week, and 
taking her by the hand, said adieu. The farewell, 
uttered in a more tender tone than usual, struck the 
princess so that, on returning to her apartments, she 
told me of it. As no one had spoken of the departure 
of the king we did not pay much attention to the 

In fact, the princess was so little informed of the 
plans of the flight of the royal family that the queen's 
courier surprised her at midnight in her house at Passy. 
Careful to avoid showing the slightest emotion or 
anxiety, without losing her head she hastened to make 
her preparations and to give her final orders. At one 
o'clock she stepped into a post-chaise, accompanied by 
Mesdames de Ginestous and de Lage^ her ladies-in- 
waiting, and drove to her father-in-law, having spread 
among her household to divert suspicion the report that 
the health of Monsieur de Penthievre was the sole 
cause of so sudden a decision. 

The journey was made under the best possible con- 
ditions, for the same day at six o'clock in the evening 



a carriage covered with dust stopped before the modest 
lodging in Aumale which the Due de Penthievre 
usually occupied. Fortaire, from whom we borrow 
these details, was the first to recognize Madame de 
Lamballe and hastened to inform the prince and pre- 
pare him for the unexpected visit. 

The duke, followed by the Duchesse d' Orleans, came 
to meet his daughter-in-law. Madame de Lamballe at 
once made them understand that she must speak to them 
alone. ' ' Soon after, they went into a private room, the 
door of which they locked," adds the faithful servant. 

While the princess was informing her relatives of the 
flight of the king, and begging them to accompany her, 
the ladies of the suite descended to recruit their strength 
as quickly as possible. Finally the door opened and 
Fortaire perceived the duke writing and giving orders, 
while the Duchesse d'Orleans wept, and madame 
counted the moments, urging their flight and saying to 
him : "I beg you to double your orders if possible ; in a 
quarter of an hour we must be on our way." 

Fresh horses were harnessed, and when the ladies 
stepped into the carriages Madame de Lamballe said 
good-by as calmly as if it were merely a question of 
a few days' separation. So much so, that Fortaire 
admits ingenuously that he was deceived by it. But 
the good man, naturally inquisitive, was soon disabused, 
and, is careful to tell us that his curiosity, a character- 
istic peculiar to him, made him find out at once the 
princess's change of route. 



On leaving Aumale, the carriage took the road to 

Scarcely recovered from the surprise which this news 
caused him and still trying to explain the reason for 
the short stay of Madame de Lamballe, her sudden 
arrival and her hasty departure, Fortaire received from 
the Due de Penthievre the order to prepare everything 
for a return to Eu the following day. 

The carriage of the princess continued on its way 
and arrived at Boulogne in hot haste on the 22d. 
Madame de Lamballe at once set out in search of 
a ship about to sail. Her first step was successful, 
facilitated as it was by the lieutenant of the Admiralty, 
for whom, the previous evening, her father-in-law 
had given her a letter of introduction. 

An English vessel bound for Dover was then in 
port. The princess made terms with the captain and 
embarked at once, having taken care, in order to hasten 
her departure, to have provisions brought and to en- 
courage the work of the sailors by her presence. 

The coast of France was already presenting to the 
eyes of our fugitives nothing but uncertain outlines 
when the sound of a cannon, fired from Boulogne, 
warned them of the danger in which they had placed 
themselves by delaying their departure. 

The following day they landed at Dover and at 
once reembarked for Ostend, which they reached the 
26th. From there they set out for Brussels, where 
the wretched travellers, worn out with fatigue, were 



finally able to enjoy a few days' rest. Monsieur de 
Fersen, one of the chief actors in the journey of 
Varennes, dined in that town with the princess and, 
in passing, notes the conversation he had with her. 

" The 6th of July," he writes, " dined and spent 
the evening with Sullivan; talked nonsense and gossip 
with Madame de Lamballe." 

Apparently he was not indulgent and seems to have 
attached no value to the words of the princess. 

Finally, having made up her mind to stay at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, the princess left Brussels the lOth and 
reached the end of her journey July nth. Having 
decided on the Rue Saint Jacques, Maison Schleiden, 
with Mesdames de Ginestous and de Lage, the prin- 
cess inscribed herself under the name of the Comtesse 
d'Amboise. But the apartment was probably neither 
sufficiently large nor comfortable, and a few days later 
she settled permanently in more commodious apart- 
ments on the Comphausbad, which Madame de Lage 
has described for us. 

The small circle, already enlarged by the Marquise 
de Las Cases and the Comte de Ginestous, was in- 
creased still more by the Marquise de Brunoy. The 
house was too small to accommodate the new arrivals, 
and Mesdames de Lage and de Las Cases were obliged 
to go next door to Houpers a la Botte^ also on the 

The 26th of June the royal family returned to Paris 



and that same day the " Chronique de Paris" and the 
next day the "Journal de la Ville et de la Cour " 
published the following article : 

" Madame de Lamballe has left for England. It is 
said she sailed from Montreuil." 

To our mind, this note was inserted without any 
evil intent or any definite object of harming the prin- 
cess. Insignificant as it may seem at first glance, 
since the report of her trip to England, supposedly 
on a secret mission, was public property, it did not 
pass unnoticed and a new cause, perhaps the most 
serious, was furnished for the accusations of which the 
unfortunate woman was the target. These were made 
by the journalist Carra, who was in the pay of the ex- 
Capuchin Chabot and his followers. 

In going abroad, Madame de Lamballe had merely 
obeyed the formal injunction of the queen. Could 
she have acted otherwise to Marie Antoinette, who 
at the last hour had told her of her departure, and had 
appointed a rendezvous at Montmedy ? But no sooner 
did she know of the arrest at Varennes and the return 
of the royal family to the Tuileries, than her energy for- 
sook her entirely and she knew not what course to 
follow. Should she return to Paris ? Her friends ad- 
vised her to do so, counting on her influence and her 
kindness to help restore them to the favor of the king, 
whom they had so prematurely abandoned. 

Should she go to Turin to her family ? This de- 



cision, by far the wisest, was strongly urged by her 
spoiled child, Madame de Lage. There, in the midst 
of her relatives, surrounded by the affection of her 
sisters, she probably would never have returned to 

However, the princess could not make up her mind 
to follow this last suggestion. Her hesitation, de- 
scribed with much animation by Madame de Lage as 
greater than ever, kept her where she was, waiting for 

Thanks to the correspondence of the countess, care- 
fully preserved by her family, we are able to initiate 
the reader into the house on the Comphausbad occu- 
pied by Madame de Lamballe and her ladies. With- 
out being luxurious, and leaving much to be desired in 
the way of comforts, the apartment was situated in the 
most elegant quarter of the city. Furthermore, the 
princess had the great advantage of being near her 
friends, the Marquis de Clermont-Gallerande and Mon- 
sieur de la Vaupaliere, whose advice was invaluable to 

" We are," writes the amiable young woman, " on 
the principal street, which is very beautiful, in a 
wide open space, a kind of square called the Comp- 
hausbad, near the Redoute. This makes it easy to go 
to play rouge et noire ; it is very near to some beautiful 
baths and mineral waters, but this is the least interest- 
ing fact to me in Aix-la-Chapelle. We have a very 
large drawing-room, long and narrow. I occupy the 



sleeping-room which opens from this, because my 
sister (Madame de Lamballe) preferred the one at the 
rear, although it is unattractive and inaccessible ex- 
cept by way of a dirty corridor. It has closets however 
and her women can be lodged near her, while the rooms 
of the countess and myself have nothing adjoining them ; 
but we do not need to have our women nearer than the 
end of the corridor. The room of the countess 
(Madame de Ginestous) opens into mine ; each has 
a door into the antechamber. They gave us new beds 
with snowy white curtains and a good canopy in each 
room, and, now that we have taken possession of all 
the tables, we are very comfortable. The brunette 
occupies the rooms below, in which she settled two 
months before we arrived. The large lady (the Com- 
tesse de Las Cases), with her husband and children, is 
above, as are many others. We have the entire first 
floor to ourselves. You know that the large lady 
came away several months before we did, leaving my 
sister rather informally ; so the latter gave her to under- 
stand that she would be delighted to have her for a vis- 
itor, but that while she was at the watering-places their 
households would be separate ; that she and her hus- 
band could come and dine as often as they wished, but 
that when my sister travelled she should not take her. 
Neddy and the husband of my companion are living in 
the same house. The Marquis de Clermont occupies 
the ground floor." 

The description is complete, almost minute; but in 
order to satisfy our desire to know everything, in order 
that the picture may not be incomplete, we must be 
wholly informed as to the life of Madame de Lamballe 



during her emigration, we must know her habits, the 
society she frequented — must gain, in a word, a clear 
idea of her occupations in the midst of her preoccupa- 

This is what the amiable countess seems to have 
understood, and unconsciously she made herself in 
her natve account, which is accurate and without need- 
less detail, the most faithful as well as the most 
authentic historian of this interesting period, about 
which we have scarcely anything more than general 

This almost daily correspondence gives a new 
point of view very different from that which we had 
thought correct. We believed that these emigres who 
had gone abroad, fearing the persecutions of which 
they might be victims, must have broken with the past, 
and have given up that unhealthful frivolity, the fruit of 
their more or less prolonged sojourn in Versailles. We 
pictured them a prey to the most cruel uncertainty, de- 
ploring the fate of the king and his family, of many 
of their relatives or friends, and bemoaning their own 
misfortune; while we find, on the contrary, that they 
longed only for pleasures and distractions, gave them- 
selves up to card-playing, and in spite of the difficulty 
they already had in procuring money, risked in this 
favorite pastime considerable sums. 

Is there need to say that at the princess's they played 
in moderation ? ' She always disliked playing, except 
the game of quinze, with which she loved to pass away 



the evening; for the rest you can judge for yourself 
from the following, and if Madame de Lage gave 
herself up to her little passion, the fact w^as w^holly 
unknown to Madame de Lamballe. 

"The drawing-room," wrote Madame de Lage, 
'* is vacant at half-past eleven in the evening. Almost 
every one rises early for the waters and the baths; 
moreover, social life begins early. There is much 
visiting during the day, and always in order to discuss 
the same thing, which is very tiresome. We lead a rus- 
tic life. The ground floor as well as the second story 
of this great hotel, in which we occupy the first floor, 
is tenanted by society people. I cannot satisfy you as 
easily about the card-playing. At my sister's they do 
not play for more than a crown, but the Redoute is 
very near. We go there from time to time, during 
hours when we hope to avoid meeting people who will 
tell my sister of it. I do not go alone, but always 
with the countess or with my large cousin and a few 
men who, like ourselves, do not care to have the fact 
that they go known."' 

Madame de Lamballe might, perhaps, have accepted 
this kind of life, succumbing to circumstances, had 
it not been for her cruel anguish of mind, and her 
constant thought for the miserable fate of the royal 
family. Her heart continually turned towards the 
Tuileries, and the poor woman rarely enjoyed real 
rest. A prey to an indescribably excessive excite- 
ment, still more augmented by her nervous condition, 
she imagined she heard the voice of the queen. Now 



this voice seemed to call her back; then the next instant 
to beg her to defer her return, in order to avoid the 
perils which her presence might arouse. 

During the few months of their separation the two 
friends kept up a more or less regular correspondence. 
The queen, giving free rein to her most intimate 
thoughts, described with the greatest sincerity her 
troubles and griefs. Frequently even she confided to 
the princess her dearest hopes and her most secret plans. 

One day weeping for her family, her friends, but 
not for herself, she foretold in her letter the total disso- 
lution of France. 

"The good people," wrote the daughter of Marie 
Therese, "do us justice; but they are silent, they 
droop their heads, and do not know what to do. 
The villains are strong in this weakness. Ah, if they 
knew how we loved the people, they would blush 
at the outrages which we are made to suffer. ..." 

Another day she would be more cheerful, or tried 
to appear so, in order not to further sadden her 
" dear Lamballe." But even then she did not forget 
to speak of the wicked men and the scoundrels. 

"... I showed your letter to the king," she 
wrote, October 19, 1791, "as you desired; he asked 
me to tell you that he would be delighted to do any- 
thing to please you ; he is really quite angry with you 
for not having spoken sooner. . . . We are so sur- 
rounded by wicked people, and so hampered, that we 



cannot answer one day for the next, but the king will 
do what he can, . . . What is Monsieur de Pen- 
thievre doing ? . . ." 

It is rather interesting to note that the princess still 
dared to ask a favor of the king, who probably was at 
a loss to grant what she wanted. But Louis XVI. 
gave some sort of promise, at least, since he said he 
would do " his best." 

The following article proves beyond a doubt that 
Marie Antoinette, answering the timidly expressed de- 
sire of the princess to return to France, forced herself 
to dissuade her ■ from this idea, and admitted that 
Madame de Lamballe would be throwing herself into 
the jaws of the tiger. 

" The trouble does not lessen," she said. " I see 
the boldness of our enemies increasing and the courage 
of honest men growing less. One can think only 
from day to day, fearing a frightful to-morrow. ' ' Then 
she speaks of her daughter, whose health was good. 
" You know," she continues, " how well this little 
one loves you, as does my darling who at this moment 
is on my lap and who wants to write to you." In 
fact, the unfortunate child signed the letter. 

However, the dangers she might run mattered little 
to the princess if her presence could be useful to the 
royal family. No doubt it was in answer to the assur- 
ance she gave Marie Antoinette, to return as soon as 
the latter should show a desire for her to do so, that 



the queen wrote and acknowledged that her friend's 
generosity had made her weep. 

"I well know," she continued, "that you love 
me, and I had no need of this new proof. What 
happiness to be loved for one's self! Your affection, 
with that of a few other friends, constitutes my entire 
strength. . . ." 

Did our poor princess have a presentiment that her 
friend, fearing to frighten her, was voluntarily hiding 
a part of the truth ? Did she think that La Vaupaliere 
and Clermont-Gallerande, with whom she lived at 
Aix, wished, for the same reason, to give her only a 
partial idea of the actual situation ? Be that as it may, 
we see her returning to Spa with the Marquise de Las 
Cases as sole lady-in-waiting, and we can find no 
more plausible reason for her sudden departure than 
this state of mind; unless she conferred, entirely in 
secret, with the King of Sweden, who was residing in 
that place. 



At Spa the princess went to the Hotel du Lion Noir, 
on the Grand' Place, already occupied by the Comte 
de Haga, and the list of foreigners shows us that in 
this change of residence she still bore the title of 
Comtesse d'Amboise. 

We have no account as to the sojourn of Madame 
de Lamballe, but we know from the same paper that 
Spa was filled with foreigners and that the society 
there was very select. Madame de Lage, unfortu- 
nately, was not of the party and therefore could not 
give us, in her usual animated manner, the charming 
descriptions in which she excelled. However, that 
inquiring lady knew how to listen and, thanks to 
this characteristic, which we are now tempted to 
regard as an advantage, she draws, according to her 
information, a picture which cannot fail to be ex- 
tremely attractive. 

" Spa," she said, " has been more brilliant this year 
than ever. Seventeen princes or princesses, one might 
say all brothers and sisters, children or nephews of the 
king. As for the petty German princes, we do not 
count them ; the streets are paved with them ; and 
there is one king worth a thousand of them — namely, 



the King of Sweden. . . . They claim that It is 
the only spot in the world in which the Revolution 
is forgotten." 

In the early days of September the princess returned 
to Aix-la-Chapelle and lived the same life, surrounded 
by the same friends. The King of Sweden paid his 
respects the yth of October and the following day a 
great dinner was given in his honor; the last, no 
doubt, for on the 13th there arrived at Aix a mysteri- 
ous personage, charged with a mission from the queen 
for Madame de Lamballe. It is again the Comtesse 
de Lage who tells us this important fact and who 
describes in so true and lively a manner the make- 
shifts of the unfortunate princess. 

" . . . In all probability," she wrote, " we will 
return to Paris in a fortnight, on Friday morning, 
October 14th. Some one else arrived yesterday; we 
foresee that my sister will think herself obliged to join 
my aunt, with whom it is said she is anxious to be, 
while they tell her that my aunt wants her. They 
say that rny sister offers to go, and they imply to my 
aunt that by refusing to have her she would offend her. 
However, as my sister fears the journey as much as 
we do, she is vacillating, which fact will do her an 
injury. Ah, if she only had done as I wanted, and 
accepted the offers of her relative in Italy ; if she only 
had not been detained here; if she only had gone at 
once we should be settled there, and from such a 
distance one could not easily return ! Besides, there 
would have been no one there to trouble her. If this 



return to France would bring me at once to you, not 
only should I know what to do, but I should be 
happy. Instead, I shall have to stay in Paris and drain 
the cup of bitterness to the dregs. If you would only 
come here ! Every one assures me that, in case 
anything happens, Paris will be the safest place in 
France. For the rest, so far as I am concerned, my 
course is clear: so long as there is danger and she is 
unhappy, I shall not leave her. Since yesterday my 
heart has ached for her. . . ." 

Some parts of this letter, which we have quoted 
almost in its entirety, are of real value. In the first 
place they show us that the princess, urged on the one 
hand by some of those about her; influenced on the 
other by the wish to satisfy the desires of the queen, 
was incapable of reaching a decision. On the 13th 
the messenger arrived whom Madame de Lage qualifies 
as some one else^ thereby showing that he was not the 
first she had received, but that several times she had 
been already solicited in the same way. 

At all events, the queen must have been eloquent, 
since Madame de Lamballe suddenly made up her 
mind to return to France. 

The Comte de Las Cases, in a passage of the Me- 
morial de Sainte Helene, dedicated to the sojourn of 
Madame de Lamballe at Aix-la-Chapelle, wrote : 

" The emperor then passed on to speak of the Prin- 
cesse de Lamballe, about whom he knew nothing. I 
could easily satisfy him, as I had known her well. 



One of my relatives was her maid of honor. When 
I reached Aix-Ia-Chapelle, at the beginning of my 
journey, I was received by her as if I were one of her 
household, and was treated with great kindness. 

" The Princesse de Lamballe, I said, gathered about 
her in this city much of the atmosphere of Versailles, 
in courtiers and gentlemen of the old school. Many 
illustrious strangers came also. I often saw the King 
of Sweden, Gustavus III., there under the title of 
Comte de Haga; Prince Ferdinand of Prussia, with 
his children, the eldest of whom. Prince Louis, was 
killed a few moments before the battle of Jena; the 
Duchess of Cumberland, widow of a brother of the 
King of England, etc. 

"When Louis XVL, accepting the Constitution, 
reorganized his household, the princess received a 
formal letter from the queen asking her to resume her 
duties as superintendent. The princess took the ad- 
vice of her old councillors, all of whom thought that, 
considering the fact that the queen was not free, and 
that there was a possibility of great danger in Paris, 
the princess need not return there and might regard 
the letter from the queen as null and void. The 
princess having asked elsewhere what people thought, 
some one was ill-advised enough to reply : ' Madame, 
you have shared the prosperity of the queen, it would 
be generous to show her fidelity, especially now when 
you have ceased to be her favorite.' The princess 
was high-minded, deeply afFectionate, and unconscious- 
ly romantic ; the next day she announced that she 
would leave for Paris., So the unfortunate woman 
returned to the capital, fully realizing the danger; she 
fell an illustrious victim to her generosity and her 
feelings. My parents offered me to her; for an instant 



I might have followed her. Because of my youth 
and the short time I had been in Paris, I was almost 
unknown and could have remained near her, and per- 
haps have been useful to her; but at the moment of 
departure the princess found obstacles in the way and 
urged me to give up the idea ; however, I remained 
her chronicler. Every other day I sent her, with the 
best intention in the world, stories and all kinds of 
ridiculous tales by which our illusions were flattered 
and which we did not fail to accept with the greatest 
faith. I sent them to her when we were in the 
country; I sent them to her when she was no longer 
there. . . . To the heartfelt grief I felt for her 
pitiful lot was sometimes added the secret fear of 
having, perhaps, augmented it by my bulletins. And 
by chance, I added to the emperor, I happen to 
have here a few lines she wrote some days before the 
hideous catastrophe of which she has left a terrible 
reminder. They are dated from the top of my donjon. 
It was thus she designated the Pavilion de Flore, which 
she occupied at that time in the Tuileries." 

Although in the words of Madame de Lage and 
according to the belief of certain fugitives, an opinion 
spread by them no doubt to serve their purposes, Paris 
was " the safest spot in France," the princess de- 
parted with a deep realization of the dangers she must 
run. Her will, made at Aix-la-Chapelle and dated 
October 15th, is proof of this. 

The strong determination of the princess was never- 
theless variously interpreted. If the greater number 
attributed it to generosity and great-mindedness, others, 



on the contrary, accused her of another motive, to 
which we must refer although we refute it with indig- 

Thus does not Madame de Tourzel, whose testi- 
mony, however, is usually credited, go so iar as to say 
that the queen, fearing that after the acceptance of the 
Constitution she would be forced to take from Madame 
de Lamballe the position of superintendent of the royal 
household if she continued to remain away from France, 
induced her to return ? 

In that case it would have been simply for the emolu- 
ments of the position that Madame de Lamballe ex- 
posed herself to the dangers which awaited her on her 

This is scarcely probable, and the conduct of the 
princess, considering the gravity of the situation, seems 
to us to contradict the story of the governess of the 
children of France.' The dangers to be run were too 
great for one to attribute her action to motives of self- 

Fortaire, without any reservation, says that the re- 
turn of the princess was due entirely to the " urgent 
solicitation" of the queen. He repeats this opinion 
later when he speaks of a " pressing invitation." 

Did not the Comte d'Allonville attribute to the prin- 
cess this lofty sentiment, made in response to the 
supplications of her friends, who were seeking to dis- 
suade her: "The queen wants me; I must live and 
die near her ' ' .'' 



Moreover, the same author returns to this point and 
again says: 

" We saw this good and devoted Princesse de 
Lamballe leave an hospitable land, in spite of the 
prayers of her friends, in order to soften the grief and 
share the danger of a queen whom she loved as much 
as she was loved by her." 

This is scarcely what Madame de Lage tells us of 
the friends of the princess, who counted on her to 
bring them back to favor and urged her to shorten her 
stay away from France. 

The departure of Madame de Lamballe, postponed 
from day to day, actually occurred, according to the 
Comte de Fersen, on Saturday, October 29th. 

Although it must have cost her dear to be separated 
from her two ladies-in-waiting, of whom she was 
particularly fond, the princess, after mature con- 
sideration, decided to set out alone for France. In 
fact it was more prudent to travel without a suite and 
with a modest equipage. We will even add, in sup- 
port of the delicacy of her feelings, that she did not 
wish to expose her ladies-in-waiting to the dangers she 
herself was braving without fear. Moreover, if the 
words attributed to her by the Comte d'AUonville are 
true, she did not deceive herself in regard to these 

The separation was cruel. Only the Comtesse de 
Ginestous could legitimately cherish the hope of return- 



ing to the princess, for, as a foreigner, she was insured 
against certain dangers. 

On the 4th of November the papers announced the 
return of the princess to Paris : 

" Madame de Lamballe has returned." 

" Madame de Lamballe as well as several quondam 

courtiers has returned to Paris," said the "Journal 

de Paris," without further comment. 

On her arrival the princess took rooms m "an 
apartment, which was separated from that of the queen 
only by the landing-place of the stairs, on the same 
floor as that of the queen, at the Pavilion de Flore," 
says Madame Campan. 

That which she most feared was to see again, after 
so long and so cruel a separation, the queen whom, 
a few months before, she had left young and full of 
attractions. She was not ignorant, however, of the 
fact that, since the arrest at Varennes, the hair of Marie 
Antoinette had become almost white; her friend had not 
hidden this from her in her letters, and had even sent 
her a proof of it. 

It was none the less a sad moment for her when she 
saw the queen with entirely white hair, her features 
worn and sharpened by loss of sleep. 

The royal countenance reflected proud surprise, 
haughty calm, and feverish courage. Later, to this 
surprise, to this calm, to this courage was added scorn. 

* ' Always imposing in her bearing, there was no 



longer seen on her lips that kindly and charming smile 
which had added to her beauty." 

" Profoundly moved, she still preserved her quiet 
visage and a bearing full of dignity." 

The loneliness and desolation which the princess 
felt in the Tuileries affected her no less acutely. 
Feeling only shame and scorn for those who had not 
feared at the first danger to flee and irrevocably aban- 
don the royal family,^ she resolved to devote herself 
wholly to the king and queen, whose reception of her 
had been so touching. This was, then, her one 
thought, her one ambition ; but there remained a duty 
to be fulfilled, a sacred duty, sweet to her since it was 
one of gratitude : to go to her father-in-law, whose 
health was precarious and whom she wished to see 

So the princess left for Anet and remained there 
from November the 14th to the i8th. She could 
freely discuss her plans with the Due de Penthievre, by 
whom her course, in spite of the dangers it entailed, 
could not fail to be approved. 

The poor duke was, in fact, very ill. The quarrels 
to which he had constantly been exposed had greatly 
affected his health, although he had preserved excellent 

We know of no better way to depict his state of 
mind than to give here some passages from the corre- 
spondence between him and his faithful friend the 
Cardinal de Bernis, then in Rome. 



' ' We have had, ' ' he wrote from Chateauneuf-sur- 
Loire, May 30, 1790, " some excitement at Amboise 
from a cause which in these times is unimportant: the 
people from one of the parishes of this town wished to 
reestablish the third fete ot Pentecost, which for sev- 
eral years has been given up. This excitement came 
to an end in a touching manner for me. The curate, 
towards whom they were beginning to use threats, said 
that the disturbances would end by forcing me to leave 
Amboise and every one retired without a word." 

" Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, July 4, lygo." 
"It is very kind in your Eminence (I believe that 
this title is always correct in Rome) to concern your- 
self with a poor servant on the eve of becoming royal 
shoeblack. I do not know, however, what I shall be 
in France, or how I shall exist under the new order of 
things; the decree of June 19th is being returned to 
the hands of the Committee of the Constitution, to 
undergo a new examination before being promulgated. 
Some of the gentlemen from Orleans actually have de- 
sired that the man who carries my letters to the post- 
office in their city, and the conveyance which is sent 
thither for my provisions, should be divested of my 
livery and my coat-of-arms. I have yielded. For 
that matter, I could not fail to be pleased with the 
friendship the people show for me. Why should they 
wish me harm ? I have always thought that the high po- 
sition I occupy compels me to sacrifice myself for them. 
" Preserve our country from schism. The Pope is 
a prudent man in whose wisdom I put great confidence; 
the form of apostolic instruction by the bishop, together 
with communion with the successor of Saint Peter, is 
not unknown. 



* ' A thousand thanks to your Eminence for the in- 
terest you have been good enough to take in my health. 
I have been much better since I have been living on 
the banks of the Loire, although I am still w^eak. I 
vi^as troubled by a summons to the act of federation of 
the 14th of this month, whither it vi^ould have been 
impossible for me to go. Fortunately, on the decree's 
being examined further, I found that I w^as not com- 
pelled to be present. 

' ' My tender and sincere affection for your Eminence 
deserves that you keep a small place for me in your 

" L. J. M. DE Bourbon. 

" There is no need for me to say how I hope this 
letter will find you argus-eyed." 

•■ Amboise, August 13, 1790. 

" Monsieur de Bourbon Penthievre (such is the 
name I now bear) renders a thousand thanks to Mon- 
sieur le Cardinal de Bernis for the last letter he was 
kind enough to write him. He is about to try to 
make use of the means suggested to him concerning 
the affair of poor Father Denis. Monsieur de Bour- 
bon Penthievre still uses his own seal, and will con- 
tinue to use it until the decree of June 19th shall be 
in force; only he countersigns admiral. His servants 
wear any color. 

" I came to Amboise for my customary change of 
air; otherwise my health, which needs care, might have 
suffered. It has not been possible this year for me to 
look into my accounts as usual. My ignorance of the 
means I have left compelled me to begin by curtailing 
expenses ; moreover, I am very glad to reserve enough 



for a journey to Rome if I cannot settle permanently in 
my own country. 

" I am in the hands of Monsieur Barnave' and Mon- 
sieur Charles de Lameth, One of my old farmers to 
whom my counsel has been refusing for ten years to 
pay an indemnity of ten thousand crowns at the low- 
est, has complained to these gentlemen and has been 
heard by them. Monsieur de Lameth, to whom, at 
my orders, a secretary had been speaking, said some 
very kind things about me, but did not cease to re- 
iterate the fact that he was the friend of the people 
and the savior of the oppressed. I wrote that they 
should try to prevent my being decried in the National 
Assembly. I ask your Eminence not to refuse the 
continuation," etc. 

Monsieur de Penthievre was not at the end of his 
troubles. Every instant he feared that the schism 
would come, and after a time this fear was realized. 

Villenave, in his " Vie du Due de Penthievre," tells 
us that " while the Princesse de Lamballe had her 
priedieu under a dais in the choir of Saint Eustache, the 
prince was on the bench of the church-wardens' pew, 
in company with the wardens." 

The duke was very fond of his parish of Saint 
Eustache, near the Hotel de Toulouse. He did much 
goad there. What a cruel awakening, then, when he 
learned, early in December, that his coat-of-arms had 
been torn down from Saint Eustache ! Foreseeing 
what would occur, he wrote, January i, 1791 : 

" In case we are so unfortunate as to suffer from a 



schism, could you procure me the means of holding 
service in my rooms, according to the Catholic ritual, 
without my being forced to expatriate myself? " 

The prince thought of leaving, of exiling himself, in 
order to escape having to renounce his religious prac- 
tices; but in the following letter he shows that he is 
reassured, and has changed his plans, for between times 
he speaks of the answer of the cardinal, an answer in 
which the latter tells him that he may continue to fol- 
low his own religious observances : 

" Eu, February 6, 1791, 

" Monsieur le Cardinal, there can rightly be no 
schism when the majority of bishops are united; but 
there can actually be one when the supreme power pre- 
vents the orthodox ministers from fulfilling their duties, 
and has them carried on by intruders. I shall have 
recourse to you if circumstances require it. 

" It is said that your Eminence is about to receive 
mesdames. I congratulate you for extending your 
hospitality towards such personages. Perhaps I shall 
ask you to procure a cabin for me near Saint Paul fort 
mura^ if I do not confine myself to paying a visit to 
Madame la Princesse de Conti in Savoy, in case my 
continued poor health obliges me to travel. 

" I am still in the city of Eu. I do not know how 
long I shall remain. The four curates of this city 
have taken the oath; their vicars have joined the oppo- 
site faction. The curate of Choisy le Roy was ap- 
pointed bishop of Rouen the beginning of this week. 
The town of Eu is in this diocese. 

" My tender and sincere aflection," etc. 



"Eu, March 23, 1791. 

' ' What I foresaw in regard to the schism has hap- 
pened. Monsieur le Cardinal. The Church of France 
is very Catholic, the majority of bishops holding to- 
gether; but schism does exist in this country, the 
administrative power binding the hands of the legitimate 
ministers and committing their duties to the hands of 
intruders. Your Eminence has told me that it would 
not be impossible to procure for myself the means of 
living at home as a Catholic in the midst of heterodoxy. 

" I beg you to pay my respects to mesdames when 
you have time, and to remember me to Madame de 
Narbonne. You must always address my letters to 
the Hotel de Toulouse in Paris, in order that they 
may surely reach me, because I may change my abode 
from time to time. 

" I trust that your Eminence will never doubt," etc. 

The health of the poor old man was very wretched. 
The following letter was written by his secretary. To 
his physical suffering was added mental pain; the good 
man had just lost a priest whom he had honored with 
his friendship. 

" Radepont, September 17, 1791. 
*' . . . It is very interesting that the health of the 
Pope undergoes no change. My daughter and I beg 
you to offer our humble respects to mesdames. My 
daughter asks me to thank you for the interest you 
never cease to feel in what concerns her. The con- 
dition of suffering in which I live is somewhat aug- 
mented by the loss I have just sustained of the priest 
in whom I placed my confidence after the death of 
poor Monsieur d'Appolonie. This loss, which would 



have affected me at any time, is rendered more painful, 
if possible, by circumstances. Yesterday I resigned 
from the Order of the Saint Esprit; perhaps to-day I 
shall separate myself from the Order of the Golden 
Fleece, to which the king, according to his latest letters 
written from Paris, still belongs. I deserve from your 
Excellency," etc. 

If only the poor duke had known how good a prophet 
he was in uttering the words Fortaire has handed down 
to us ! 

" I greatly admire the attachment of my daughter- 
in-law to the queen. She has made a very great sacri- 
fice in returning to her. I tremble lest she be a victim 
to it." 

Even then the unfortunate woman was morally a 
victim. Her devotion was not slow in exciting the 
bitterness of the pamphleteers. 

" A long, detailed account of the reception of Ma- 
dame de Lamballe at court, Wednesday, the 12th of this 
month, and the pleasant welcome she received from 
the king and the queen. 

" Also the superb discourse of their Majesties, as 
well as that of this ci-devant * princess, concerning the 
emigres and their intentions in regard to France. 

" Madame de Lamballe, admitted to the king, 
addressed him in these terms : 

" ' Sire, no one has shown more love than I for the 
sacred person of your Majesty. If I regret that I was 
separated from you, at least I have the consolation of 



not having lost the confidence with which you have 
deigned to honor me. Nothing is dearer to my heart. 
I shall always preserve the memory of it as well as the 
joy I now feel. To-day will be so much the more pre- 
cious to me since I can tell your Majesty that the inten- 
tion of the French princes is to follow my example. 
Kindly add to this expression of affection my boundless 
devotion to the Constitution, to your Majesty, to the 
queen, and to the royal family. ' 

"the reply of the king 

" ' I, as well as the queen, am greatly pleased by 
your return to us. I was ignorant of the motives 
which kept you away, especially as we had told you 
that you had nothing to fear. Perfect tranquillity 
reigns here. The French, worthy of our love, have 
some affection for me, and for all of us. Deep in our 
hearts we carry this healthful balm, which makes us 
forget all the ills we have suffered, and all that were 
feared by those who left. 

" ' I must tell you, my dear cousin, that this mo- 
ment brings back life to me. What joy ! I cannot 
forget it, and if ever I felt the sweetness of royalty, it 
is now when I see all souls united, all members at one 
with their leader, and all Frenchmen gathered about 

" ' A large part of the inhabitants of this vast em- 
pire, in a burst of regeneration conceived, it is true, 
some alarm in regard to the purity of our sentiments ; 
the ill-disposed profited by their anxiety, the flame of 
discord grew so warm that no power could have averted 
the incalculable evils of which France would have been 
the theatre. A great nation having been led away, 



wrongly interpreted our slightest actions; in a word, 
caused such anxiety in our soul that we thought we 
ought to make sure whether there existed a unanimous 
desire for a constitution, which I as well as the queen 
have adopted. I assured myself of this desire uncon- 
ditionally ; consequently, I repeat to you that no con- 
sideration can outweigh with me the general wish. 

" ' We have obtained from a feeling and generous 
people the forgetfulness of personal enmity. Those 
whom you have looked on as your enemies come with 
open arms to receive you, to guarantee your person 
and your property. Can you regard such conduct 
with indifference ? I cannot make myself believe this, 
especially as we are allied with the blood of the Bour- 
bons, and as we now form with all Frenchmen one 
and the same family. 

" ' I flatter myself that you will adopt my plans. 
I beg you to overlook all mistakes. I ask you also to 
contemplate with us the lively pleasure of a people 
pleased with the laws they have dictated for themselves, 
and to feel that your return makes a part of their joy, 
of mine, and of the queen's.' 


" * I share the sentiments of the king in regard to 
you. I will not recall the cruel remembrance of the 
motives which have kept you away from me. Resume 
your rank and the place you have always held in my 

" ' Finally, let us draw a veil across the past; let us 
turn our thoughts to everything which will contribute 
to a happier future and let us be forever friends.' 

"At this point the queen embraced Madame de 
Lamballe with the liveliest affection. 



" Copy of a letter addressed to the former editors 
of the ' Courrier des Frontieres ' : 

" ' Gentlemen: The arrival at court of Madame 
de Lamballe, announced in a very estimable paper 
(" Le Thermometre du Jour," No. 65), is assuredly 
not falsely reported. This ci-devant princess, for whom 
for several days they have been preparing apartments in 
the Hotel de Toulouse, arrived the night of the loth. 
On Wednesday, the 12th, she was admitted first to 
the king and then to the queen. Two of my friends 
who were present at the ceremony customary under 
such circumstances told me the chief points. As 
they are very interesting, it is a real pleasure to me to 
send them to you, and you may, without doubt, give 
them the publicity they deserve. 

" ' I have the honor of being your, etc., 

" ' David, 
" ' Citizen of the District of the Tuileries, Paris ^ ij\.th 
October, 1791.' 

" From the Press of Pellier, Rue des Prouvaires, 
No. 61." 



On her return to Paris, the princess opened her 
salon to receive " many people," and succeeded in 
gathering about her all that the capital still contained 
of the royal suite. 

On November 28th Monsieur d'Amblimont supped 
with her before going to Aix-la-Chapelle, vi^here he 
was to join her daughter, the Comtesse de Lage, to 
give her the final instructions from the princess, who 
urged patience, and forbade the countess to think of 
returning, unless she received formal orders to do so. 

Several writers have told us of the efforts of the 
princess to hide from the eyes of the royal family the 
void caused by the migration. 

She sought to gather together all those whom fear 
had not driven away, and solicited their presence at her 
receptions, even at her informal teas, hoping to find in 
all these evidences of devotion, neglected for some 
months, a last support for the tottering royalty. 

Monsieur de Clermont-Gallerande has made of this 
desertion, which in her solicitude the princess desired 
to hide, a true and painful picture. We should like 
to pass it over in silence. 



" The court of the queen was as little attended as 
was that of the king. Those holding important offices 
were either absent or had deserted her. Of the prin- 
cesses only Madame Elisabeth and Madame de Lam- 
balle remained; the Duchesse d' Orleans was with her 
father; the Duchesse de Bourbon never came." 

What a contrast ! How painful it must have been 
for such a woman to see herself deserted, to find her- 
self misjudged by those who ought to have known her 
better, to see herself abandoned by her own house- 
hold, by those who had received for their families, as 
well as for themselves, the greatest favors from her 
hands ! I must say in praise of their Majesties that, 
although sensitive to this general desertion, they were 
far from showing any displeasure at it. Never a 
murmur escaped them, never a complaint, never a 
single moment of ill-humor or reproach. There was 
the same kindly welcome, the same graciousness, the 
same indulgence for all who approached. No doubt 
they favored those on whom they most could count. 
They must have done so; but it was in no way em- 
barrassing for the others, who could neither show 
offence nor complain of it. 

What patience ! What courage ! What resignation 
and virtue in these unfortunate sovereigns ! How con- 
soling must it have been to have shown them devotion 
in their trouble. Madame de Chimay, maid of honor, 
unable to follow her own creed at court, had left on 
account of religious reasons. Fear had led Madame 



d'Ossun, lady of the bedchamber, to go abroad and 
join her mother, Madame de Grammont. The Du- 
chesse de Luxembourg was at Lisbon with her husband. 
Mesdames de Luynes, de Duras, d'Henin, de Bergues, 
and de Polastron had left. Of the court ladies, there 
remained only Mesdames de la Roche-Aimond, de 
Tarente, de Castellane, and de Maille; and Madame 
de Lamballe, who filled every position, so to speak, 
held court every week, and gave several dinners and 
suppers, which the queen attended. This was the 
sole diversion Marie Antoinette allowed herself. The 
household of Madame Elisabeth was likewise scattered; 
she had with her only Madame de Serent and a few 
other ladies. Monsieur d'Adhemar had just died, and 
the Comte de Coigni was in Italy. Of the queen's 
household, Monsieur de Tesse was in Switzerland, the 
Due de Polignac at Vienna, and Monsieur de Saulx 
was dead. 

Following is a letter from the queen, with a few 
autograph lines from Louis XVL, addressed toward the 
close of the year to the Duchesse de Polignac. It 
shows that Marie Antoinette fully realized the value 
of the devotion of the princess and did not hide it 
from herself, and that the king, in spite of his unfor- 
tunate position, continued to devote himself calmly to 
his favorite pastime.' 

" Your last two letters," wrote the queen, " ar- 
rived together, dear heart, and it is impossible for me 



not to reply at once to tell you of my friendship for 
you. . . . The good L , who seemed only wait- 
ing for danger to show what she was worth, is slightly 
ill at not being able to leave the house without over- 
hearing the most atrocious remarks; for myself, I do 
not need to go out: I enjoy all that at home, as it suf- 
fices for me to go to the window. From time to time 
I find faithful men amongst those on whom I had not 
counted, but we have about us, and in our own service, 
others who betray us." 

" I am returning from hunting," continued the king, 
" where I met your friend, but we were surrounded by 
so many people whom we could not trust that we did 
not have a long conversation. The words exchanged, 
however, were sufficient for your purpose and mine. 
Know, Madame la Duchesse, that I fully realize the 
value of your affection. ' ' 

It was in the midst of these events and sorrows, 
which were nothing in comparison to what we are 
about to see, that the fatal year 1792 opened. Our 
princess, whose devotion was limitless, was never more 
careful to fufil her duties. Thanks to her unflagging 
zeal, she spared her friend the fatigue with which she 
was constantly threatened, and averted from her the 
coldness which was so painful to the queen. She 
was the first to express good wishes for the new year 
— " wishes which were as sincere," writes the poor 
woman, "as the hope I have of her continued 

In spite of her cares and anxiety, Madame de Lam- 



balle had perfect control over herself. She was even 
self-possessed enough to think of her own interests. 
It was no longer possible for her, at least for the present, 
to stay in Versailles." So we find that she decided to 
rent an apartment in her hotel in the city. Madame 
de Lamballe made every effort to induce her friends 
to remain near the Throne; at least, this is what 
Madame de la Rochejaquelein' says in her Memoires. 
This authority tells us that when she was presented to 
the queen in February Madame de Lamballe prevailed 
on her, as well as on Monsieur de Lescure, not to go 
away. Later, similar overtures were made to Mon- 
sieur de Marigny by the princess, who still recom- 
mended the most absolute silence and the most im- 
penetrable mystery. The court no longer presented 
its former aspect and the description given of it by 
Monsieur de Clermont is far from pleasant. 

" The court," he says, " is sad, and painful to 
look upon. Surrounded by spies, it would be a crime 
for the royal family to favor any one; the moment 
one receives a welcome or any mark of preference, 
he is suspected and watched. The queen has given 
up the dinners and teas at Madame de Lamballe's, 
because they displeased Monsieur Petion, and she goes 
there only in secret to spend a few moments of recre- 
ation or to summon the princess to her in private." 

Madame de Tourzel on this point is equally pos- 
itive ; but she attributes the cause of it solely to the 
princess, saying that it was due to the latter' s constant 



fear of compromising herself personally, and, conse- 
quently, of compromising the queen. On the other 
hand, Madame de la Rochejaquelein, whose relations 
with Madame de Lamballe were very marked at this 
time, does not give us the slightest hint of this, although 
she might well have known and mentioned it, inas- 
much as, even if not exactly in the intimate circle of 
the superintendent, she remained near her until the 
end, visiting the princess as late as the first part of 
August. This enabled her to sound the truest note as 
to the high character and cool head shown by our 
wretched heroine. 

" So far as I am concerned," says the Marquise, 
" I withdrew from society, going scarcely anywhere 
except to Madame de Lamballe's. I saw her every 
anxiety, her every grief; never was any one more 
bravely devoted to the queen. She sacrificed her life. 
A short time before August lOth she said to me, ' As 
the danger increases, the greater I feel is my strength. 
I am ready to die; I fear nothing.' " 

The court was again thrown into mourning in 
March on the death of the brother of Marie Antoinette, 
the Emperor Leopold. 

" March 10, '92, nothing; news of the death of 
the emperor," the king was satisfied to note. 

But this was not all. In the meantime arrived the 
order for the arrest of Delessart, an order which was 
carried out during the night of the loth. The affair, at 
first considered but slightly important, soon assumed a 



serious and grave aspect, and the accusation seemed so 
terrible that no further thought was given to the mourn- 
ing of the previous night. The Comte de Fersen tells 
us, in regard to the trial of Delessart, that the princess 
wrote to Monsieur de Breteuil, to keep him informed of 
the denunciations of which the queen had been the 
victim, and to tell him that there had been a question 
of removing her from the king and of placing her in a 
convent. The unfortunate queen was accused of giving 
pernicious counsel to Louis XVI. 

Fortunately, nothing came of this cruel plan, but 
Marie Antoinette long preserved the remembrance of 
the horrible idea, which, for the time being, had 
greatly startled those at court. 

Let us speak now of the Austrian Committee, on 
which we will dwell in order to prove how great, 
even at this time, was the hatred against Madame de 

This Committee, we think, never existed except in 
the feeble imagination of the orators of the Palais 
Royal and the Tuileries. Their audience, composed 
for the most part of idlers and of vagrants, had 
constant need of new food, and to meet the necessities 
of their cause our public speakers did not fear to organ- 
ize this gathering of conspirators in the heart of Paris. 
So long as the accusation was confined to the public 
streets, none of the persons incriminated thought of 
protesting against the attacks made on their names. 
The Minister of Marine, Bertrand de Molleville, did 



not publish his denial refuting the actions concerning 
his friends and himself until the journalist Carra, at 
the meeting of the Friends of the Constitution, held 
at the Jacobins May yth, allowed himself a violent 
sally, a real prosecutor's address, full of evil insinua- 
tions which he took care to reproduce in his " An- 
nales politiques. " 

Bertrand de Molleville and Montmorin, at whom 
the attack was principally aimed, commissioned La 
Riviere, justice of the peace in the so-called Henry 
IV. district, to prosecute their calumniator. But 
Carra, far from being embarrassed, replied that he had 
confined himself to the facts advanced by Bazire, 
Merlin, and Chabot, all three members of the Vigil- 
ance Committee, and, furthermore, that these members 
had before them every proof of the legal existence 
of this Committee. 

The National Assembly then summoned them to lay 
before it the evidence concerning the affair. La Riviere 
subpoenaed both Madame de Lamballe and Regnauld de 
Saint Jean d'Angely. The latter protested energetic- 
ally against the allegation of an individual who had 
dared to testify against him (Regnauld) whom Ma- 
dame de Lamballe had invited to her apartments. This 
passionate accusation made the session of Wednesday, 
May 23d, one of the most stormy they had ever had. 
Gensonne demanded the arraignment of Montmorin, 
and Brissot spoke to the same effect, demanding that 
of Bertrand also. 



Neither orator, in spite of the talent and the passion 
he put into his speech, succeeded in moving the audi- 
ence, Chabot was forced to come to the rescue and to 
take part in the discussion. Full of rage, with threat- 
ening words on his lips, he inveighed in turn against all 
and affirmed at the close of the argument that he had 
one hundred and eighty-two proofs at hand. " For 
the rest," he added, perfidiously, " the speeches of 
Gensonne and Brissot have already driven away Mes- 
sieurs Montmorin, Caraman, and Madame de Lamballe. 
They have embarked at Boulogne-sur-Mer ; and we 
have proof of this in a letter from the municipality of 
this city." 

A newspaper immediately published the following 
paragraph : ' ' Monsieur de Montmorin and Madame 
de Lamballe have left for England." But the follow- 
ing day it was compelled to contradict this statement, 
so carelessly accepted. 

"We spoke of the departure of Monsieur Mont- 
morin and Madame de Lamballe according to a letter 
from the municipality of Boulogne, which announced 
it to the National Assembly, and which was sent to 
the Committee on Research by the municipality of 
Paris. Monsieur Montmorin is in Paris, where he 
is awaiting the decision of the Assembly on matters 
which concern him." 

Thereupon an energetic letter was needed from 
Montmorin to the Assembly to put an end to the ca- 



lumniating reports brought forward with such grace by 
the ex-Capuchin Chabot, whose reputation and good 
faith were, moreover, strongly questioned in the fol- 
lowing lines: 

Chabot, chaplain of the fair, 

Whose motives are beyond compare. 

Has, with the greatest tact, been thieving — 

So great his method of deceiving — 

Throughout his term of office quite, 

To carry out his schemes aright. 

The nation's deputy forsooth ! 

Unprincipled, unlearned, uncouth! 

One day this sarcerdotal clown. 

On coming to a well-known town, 

Arrested all the rank and file — 

Aristocrats and monks erstwhile — 

And without any rhyme or reason, 

He had them all led forth to prison. 

Each, fearing much the guillotine, 

Made offers to the Capuchin 

(For so it is the story's told) 

Of costly jewels, silver, gold. 

All night they bargained, standing there ; 

At length they yielded to his prayer. 

The prisoners were allowed to go 

For a hundred thousand crowns or so. 

Never was contradiction more evident or irrefutable 
than the letter from Montmorin. Chabot, however, 
although unprepared for such a blow, did not appear 
at all moved. Later, more fully informed and ap- 
parently convinced that Madame de Lamballe was 
Still in Paris, he merely stated, with very culpable 



indifference in the face of so dastardly an accusation 
lightly made: 

" I was mistaken in saying Madame de Lamballe. 
I meant the Princesse de Lambesc." 

The accusation had no immediate results, but the 
blow told, and the princess had to suffer the conse- 
quences. The bearing of the wretched woman, her 
least acts already watched, and her short absence at 
Anet from May 6th to I2th, must have served as a 
foundation for the accusation of Chabot. These six 
days at Anet were the last which Madame de Lamballe 
devoted to her father-in-law. 

What changes she found since her last visit ! The 
poor duke was scarcely able to rise from his sick- 
bed and his suffering was frightful. His household, 
too, was sadder than ever. His last chaplain, the 
Abbe Lambert, whom Monsieur de Juigne, Bishop of 
Paris, had sent him, has given in his " Memoires " an 
interesting picture of the life of his penitent. At five 
o'clock they entered his room and, shortly after. Mon- 
sieur de Penthievre prayed and meditated ; then his 
reader read to him, sent off his letters, and finally the 
duke breakfasted on a cup of chocolate. He dined at 
half-past one, remaining three hours at table. The 
afternoon, until six o'clock, was usually given up to 
driving. He resumed his correspondence and supped 
from half-past ten to midnight. Then, retiring to his 



apartments, he read the Scriptures or prayers, and did 
not go to bed before two o'clock in the morning. 

He was so precise and punctual that he would have 
suffered if any of his habits had been the least varied. 

Always very religious, his piety seemed augmented; 
every day he attended mass and he partook of commun- 
ion each week. His correspondence with the Cardinal 
de Bernis shows us how calmly he bore his suffering, 
which daily became more violent, and the resignation, 
sometimes joyful and oftener stoical, with which he 
accepted all the innovations or changes imposed on 

" There is really nothing," he wrote, " to prevent 
me from remaining a member of the Order of the 
Golden Fleece if I will submit to being called a 
foreigner, and if I will consent to be deprived of the 
prerogatives of active citizenship. As the king still 
continues his membership I shall not resign. I 
thought I had received an insult lately; the good peo- 
ple were pleased to spread a report that I was receiving 
bishops, aristocrats, arms, horses, and baggage from 
Monsieur le Comte d'Artois. Fortunately, the munici- 
pal officers of Houdan, a town near Anet, where the 
explosion was ready to burst, were wise enough to 
say that they would have to be allowed to verify the 
facts incognito before acting against me. They carried 
out their plan and their return calmed everything." 

Under the date of February i6th he complains of 
his weakness, finding that " the irregular attacks of 
fever " from which he suffered seem to be " disappear- 



ing," and laughingly refers to his " state of imbe- 

This happy condition could not have lasted long, 
for a month later he says : 

" I am still in great pain. A cold I caught several 
days ago augments the difficulty I have in breathing 
and the dizziness with which I am troubled." 

The following letter, in which he tells of the assas- 
sination of the King of Sweden, whose host he had 
been in 1784, of the death of the Comte de Dillon, 
and of the unexpected adventure to his surgeon, is 
written with such spirit that we should like to publish 

it almost in extenso : 

" Anet, June I, 1792. 
" Neither my daughter nor myself can sufficiently 
thank your Eminence for the manner in which you have 
aroused the interest of Mesdames in our favor. We ask 
that you continue to do so. It was necessary for me 
to be as stupefied as I have been by the suffering which 
I undergo every day to have forgotten that you, per- 
sonally, would mourn the King of Sweden. I am, how- 
ever, fully aware of the friendship he showed you when 
you desired a coadjutor. I imagine that you have heard 
of the sad accident of Monsieur de Dillon, and the 
story of what occurred at Mons. We hear every day 
of the slight skirmishes which take place on the frontier 
of the Netherlands. An armed negotiation might be 
well, if it is a question of states which would consent 
to enter into a parley. But I do not feel the need of 
an assembly, the well-known custom of which is not to 
treat regarding anything that concerns the Constitu- 



tion. He who writes for me, since I am unable to do 
so for myself, says that I sent to your Eminence an 
account of a slight discussion we had on this subject. 
If he is not mistaken^ you must be wearied by this rep- 
etition. My surgeon had the misfortune to drop in a 
citizen's house at Anet a glass on which was written 
'Vive la Nation,' and the imprudence to say, 'The 
nation has fallen.' This aroused our citizens. I was 
obliged to send my surgeon to the justice of the peace, 
who, finding no serious charges against him, merely 
imprisoned him for a iew hours in the town-hall. But 
that was not enough; when he came out of prison I 
had to send the guilty man back to his family in Paris. 
The Commune afterwards begged me to recall him and 
he has returned. In spite of having to obey my phy- 
sicians I am still looking forward to my journey. It 
is not possible for me to have the travelling companion 
of whom you speak. Her husband has left, with the 
last of her children. It is said he has gone to Valen- 

" I will say nothing of what is going on in Paris. 
You know this better than I. How could I forget 
the proofs of friendship your Eminence has not ceased 
to show me. They are graven on my heart, which is 
filled with the truest and most sincere affection. Ma- 
dame la Comtesse de Joinville says that she shares the 
sentiments of her father." 

A few days later, he relates to the Cardinal an acci- 
dent, the results of which might have been serious, 
but at which he was the first to laugh, as he himself 
tells us : 

' ' We were overturned last Tuesday in an eight- 



seated carriage as we passed through the gates at the 
foot of my garden. These are placed so that the 
turning is very difficult. The coachman could not 
control the eight horses he was driving. But no one 
was seriously hurt, thank God; I ran the most risk; 
my daughter and a chief officer of my household, who 
is no light-weight, fell on me. I could neither speak 
nor move for the short time in which I remained in 
that position. I was almost suffocated." 

In the following letter he declares that, contrary to 
the advice of his physicians, he will not go to Italy — 
"since," he adds, " Madame la Comtesse de Joinville 
cannot take the trip, as her affairs are progressing so 

The poor man closes with a remark that shows he 
scarcely dares to speak of current events : 

" Everything that is occurring is too bad for me to 
discuss. Moreover, I speak very little of these things, 
and you know them better than I." 

There is at this point in his correspondence, a lapse 
greatly to be regretted, for suddenly we jump to the 
17th of November. It is unfortunate that we have 
not the letter in which he describes the sad death of 
his daughter-in-law. 

The last two missives, especially the one dated from 
Bizi, February 11, 1793, three weeks before his death, 
show that the condition of the wretched prince was 
growing worse. He could scarcely utter the following 
words, yet his mind remained clear enough for him to 



call the secretary to whom he dictated his letters " the 
man whose strength replaces the weakness of my hand, 
or rather of my head." 

" I still suffer greatly. There are moments when 
an intense trembling, which tortures me, completely 
undermines my strength. If I were not as feeble as I 
am the gratitude I owe to my citizens would procure 
me happiness which my overwhelming misery prevents 
me from feeling. The soldiers who passed through here 
on their way from France to the army showed me a 
touching proof of friendship. The Commune of Ver- 
non came to plant a tree of liberty before my door, 
after having attached an inscription to it which I here 
enclose, not daring to dictate it to him who by his 
strength replaces the weakness of my hand, or rather 
of my head. 

' ' While thanking you for deferring to my wish in 
the matter of titles, I must ask you not to address letters 
en sa maison; a sa malson is the correct form. I do not 
usually assume the title of Citizen, because it is not yet 
in general use. I limit myself to receiving it from those 
who wish to give it to me, and to using it in return, 
humbly following the formula by which they address 

The last letter is heartrending. The duke's trou- 
ble had grown worse, and the constant suffering was 
greatly augmented by a distaste for every kind of food. 
His weakness was great. 

"Increased infirmities compel me to do no more 
than thank your Eminence for the letter I received 
i6 241 


from you the 23d of last month. I was not sure of 
being able to dictate even these few lines. Three days 
ago I had an attack of fever which has been broken, 
but which has increased my distaste for food and con- 
sequently my weakness; meal hour is a time of tor- 
ture. Besides this I have had a swelling of the feet, 
occasioned by a night passed in my armchair, because 
I was unable to bear the pain I felt in bed. My 
daughter and I ask you not to omit your custom of 
recalling our names to the two kind friends living 
with you " 



A grave conflict arose between the king and the 
Assembly, a conflict caused by the refusal on the part 
of Louis XVI., who had been hesitating for several 
days, to sanction the two decrees for the deportation of 
the priests and for the formation of a camp of twenty 
thousand men in Paris. This refusal, due in part to 
the firmness of Marie Antoinette, brought on the 
famous 20th of June, when for the first time we see 
the Princesse de Lamballe taking part with her sov- 
ereigns in an insurrection and showing that dauntless 
resolution which was so foreign to her nature, but 
which she knew how to assume. 

The Tuileries once invaded by the people, the 
faithful subjects, in spite of the supplications and the 
tears of Marie Antoinette, were compelled to oppose 
her wishes to join her royal husband. " Let me go," 
cried the queen; " my place is with the king." To 
this Messieurs d'Haussonville and de Choiseul replied, 
"Your place is with your children." Then, when 
the crowd filed by her, abusing her with every sort of 
insult, the queen took refuge in the council hall, hold- 
ing the dauphin in a red cap in her arms, and sur- 
rounded by her ladies, Mesdames de Lamballe, de 
Tarente, de la Roche- Aymon, de Tourzel, etc., etc. 



Let us now, in regard to the firm and courageous 
attitude of the princess, quote the passage from the 
" Souvenirs " of the Comtesse de Lage, giving the 
testimony of the Comtesse de Ginestous : 

" Madame de Lamballe," said she, " showed great 
courage, leaning throughout the long scene against the 
armchair of the queen. She seemed concerned only 
with the danger surrounding this unhappy woman, and 
had no thought of herself. " 

That day with its overpowering heat was a horrible 
one for the defenders of the court, since the chateau 
was not entirely evacuated until eight o'clock in the 
evening. Shortly after, reports arose concerning the 
affair. Almost every one accused the Mayor of Paris, 
whose conduct was variously interpreted. 

Roederer decided on the innocence of Petion'; the 
report of the counsel of the Department of Paris, signed 
by Germain-Garnier, Leveillard, and Demantort, on the 
contrary, blamed the conduct of the mayor, that of 
the Procureur of the Commune, as well as that of the 
Commander-in-chief of the National Guard, and de- 
manded their suspension. Petion in turn attempted 
to justify himself, and had his remarks published in 
the " Moniteur. " He concluded by saying, " No one 
could ever convince a reasonable man that the entrance 
into the chateau was premeditated." Not content 
with this statement, the following day he had a notice 
published urging the citizens to be calm. 



In spite of these statements, Petion and Manuel 
were suspended from office for having on the 20th 
failed to execute the law. This suspension was how- 
ever a triumph for the mayor, who was led back to 
his home by a " numerous following of patriots." 
Moreover, six days later, the every evening of the 
fete of the Federation, he resumed his position. That 
day the king was to take the oath and drove to the 
Champ de Mars with the queen, their two children, 
Madame Elisabeth, Mesdames de Lamballe and de 
Tourzel. Fortunately everything went well ; but this 
was another real triumph for Petion, whose name 
alone was constantly cheered during the drive of the 
royal procession. This same Petion, however, was 
called on at the close of July to render a signal service 
to the royal family. At the request of the king he 
betook himself to a faubourg to quiet the agitation 
caused by the report, intentionally spread abroad, that 
Merlin, Chabot, and other patriots had just been mur- 
dered, and that in the cellars of the chateau was stored 
a large number of guns. The anxiety of the royal 
family was such that Louis XVI., convinced of the 
impossibility of defence, decided to report to the As- 
sembly. This he did a few days later. 

Times had now become so exciting that every day 
some fresh report caused new alarms. Once it was 
that the king was planning to escape, and this rumor 
was so easily believed that the populace were thinking 
of attacking the Tuileries. But there again Petion 



appeared, energetically opposed the idea, and gave pos- 
itive orders to the commander-general to reinforce 
every post. We again find Petion -when the people 
had encamped around the Tuileries. 

"It is suggested," he cried to the sections, " to 
form a cordon about the Tuileries to protect them and 
to prevent the abduction of the king. I need not tell 
you that such an idea is wrong. It would be putting 
pressure on the National Assembly'' and dictating to it 
what course to pursue. A simpler and more concili- 
atory plan would be for all the battalions to hasten to 
the protection of the king, so that there may be no 
section which will not have its citizens there. By 
evening this measure will be partly carried out; there- 
fore, let the sections not act in an isolated, incoherent 
manner. . . ." 

"If it were possible," he wrote again in a lofty 
style full of moderation, " for these walls to bristle 
with bayonets, instantly the cries of ill-will would rise 
to say that there is no freedom and that the people 
have obtained through fear that which only civism 
should dictate. I have heard it said that they wish to 
appoint a day and an hour for the decision. This idea 
is intolerable. One never says to a judge, ' At such 
an hour you are to decide my case. ' ' ' 

Unfortunately these efforts were useless; once again 
passion won ascendency over the wisest counsel; and 
while the faubourgs in a turmoil were hastening to 
arms in order to march against the Tuileries, watch 



was kept over the chateau to avoid a surprise, and 
preparations were going on in silence for a struggle, 
or at least for forcibly repelling the invaders. 

Now that we have given a rapid sketch of the his- 
torical side, let us return to our good and gracious 
princess, and profit by the last days of the unhappy 
woman's liberty to become well acquainted with her, 
to analyze her character, her thoughts, or her fears for 
the future. 

Upon the return of Madame de Lamballe the Com- 
tesse de Lage, we may remember, as well as Madame de 
Ginestous, had remained at Aix-la-Chapelle. After- 
wards the latter, who being a foreigner could serve as a 
safeguard, returned alone to the princess to resume her 
duties. The Comtesse de Lage lamented this formal 
order, even feeling offended at such desertion, without 
taking into consideration, poor child, that only the 
deep affection and the very natural fears of the princess 
for her had dictated a wish, this time so imperiously 
expressed and wholly contrary to the conciliatory char- 
acter of Madame de Lamballe. 

Cost what it might, in spite of her impatience she 
had to remain and await events. However, the health 
of her mother, who daily grew worse, determined the 
Comtesse to join her. Going by way of Paris she 
arrived July 28th, at the same time as the people from 

At once informed of her arrival, Madame de Gines- 
tous rushed into her arms, told her of the constant 



fears of the queen and of her faithful companion, and 
begged her in the name of the princess not to try to 
go to the Tuileries, in order to avoid bringing on the 
two wretched women and their surroundings fresh pre- 
texts for distrust, of which they were already too fre- 
quently the objects. The princess especially advised 
her not to send to the Hotel de Toulouse because of the 
ill-will of its inmates, principally that of the concierge. 
The anxiety of Madame de Lamballe probably 
caused her to exaggerate the doubtful sentiments of her 
house. As proof her outrider was, for injuries to a 
clerk of the section of 1792, sentenced to five livres' 
fine, with considerations which at a less sad time 
would have been positively laughable. 

" Maison Commune of the City of Paris. 
" Court of the Municipal Palace. 

" Verdict. 

" Which enjoins the Citizen Girard to show honor 
and respect to public officers in the exercise of their 
duty ; condemns him to five livres' fine for having injured 
the Citizen Raffy, Clerk of the District of 1792; 
forbids him to commit the same offence under penalty 
of heavier punishment, and orders this printed and pub- 
lished at his expense. 

" Friday, December 7, 1792. 

*' In the name of the Nation, the Executive Provi- 
sory Council to all present and future, greeting: The 
Judges composing the Court of the Municipal Police 



of the City of Paris have given their verdict, which 
is as follows : 

" Between the Procureur of the Commune, plaintiff 
for the report of the Commissary of Police from the 
District of 1792, the 27th of last October, and for the 
summons made in consequence by Jaffron, Crier in 
this Court, the 5th of the present month, on the one 
hand, and the Citizen Girard, outrider to the stables 
of the late Madame de Lamballe, living in the Rue 
de Richelieu, defendant for said report and summons, 
appearing in person and assisted by the Citizen Barre, 
his legal defender, on the other hand; without injury or 
prejudice : 

" In this case it was a question of knowing if 
Citizen Rafly, Commissioner of Police of the Section 
of 1792, bearer of the order of the executive power, 
went to the Lamballe stables for some harness to be 
used for carts in the service of the Nation, and if the 
Citizen Girard refused it and injured him. 

" Agreed: Vincent OHivault, Counsel for the Com- 
missary, Solicitor for the Commune, who has con- 
cluded that it must be enjoined to the said Girard to 
be more circumspect in future, and to show honor and 
respect to public officers in the exercise of their duties; 
and because of not having done this, and because of 
the certificate delivered to the Solicitor by Citizen 
Raffy to-day, the 7th of December, stating that the 
said Girard was a good citizen, he is condemned to 
such punishment as the tribunal may be pleased to 
inflict, and is forbidden to repeat the same offence 
under penalty of more severe punishment, with ex- 

" Agreed, likewise, Citizen Barre, Counsel for 
Citizen Girard. 



"Since it is a question of injuries inflicted by Citizen 
Girard upon a public officer, acting according to the 
conclusions of the Solicitor of the Commune, the 
Court enjoins to the said Girard to show honor and 
respect towards public officers in the exercise of their 
duties ; and for his having injured Citizen RafFy con- 
demns him to pay five livres' fine, forbids him to repeat 
the same offence under penalty of greater punishment, 
orders that the present verdict to the number of one 
hundred copies shall be printed at his expense and 
posted wherever necessary; condemns him, besides, to 
the payment of five livres, thirteen sols, six deniers, in- 
cluding those present and the legal notices of the same, 

" Done and approved in the public court of the 
Tribunal of the Municipal Police of the City of Paris 
sitting in the town hall, in which were present Citizens 
la Roux, president; Legneux, Favanne, Legrand, Con- 
cedille, and Balzac, Friday, December 7, 1792, the 
First Year of the French Republic. 

" All officers are hereby commanded and ordered 
to put the present verdict into execution ; all Na- 
tional Commissioners in the Tribunal to take the 
matter in hand, and all officers and commanders of the 
public force to lend help where they shall be so legally 

" Given by us. Clerk of the Tribunal of Municipal 
Police of the City of Paris, to be carried out accord- 
ing to the present minutes, deposited in our Registry, 
sitting in the town hall of said city. 


" From the Press of C. F. Patres, Press of the 
Commune, Rue du Faubourg Saint- Jacques Dames 
Sainte-Marie. " 



During her sojourn in Paris the Comtesse de Lage 
saw Madame de Ginestous every day, and often several 
times a day. But a visit which was valued by her, 
which was a great surprise to her, and the remem- 
brance of which she could not efface, was that of 
the princess, the evening of July 31st. 

" My unfortunate princess," she wrote, " came at 
nine o'clock the evening of the 31st, in a cab, with 
Madame Ginestous ; this was probably the first time 
in her life that the princess had ever gone out in such 
a way without a servant. She stayed with me far 
into the night, and that was the last time I ever saw 
her. Years cannot efface the impression produced on 
me when I bade her ' Farewell, ' especially as I had 
to struggle with her determination to leave the next 

The conversation then turned upon the situation of 
the royal family and that of herself. With the latter 
the princess did not seem to be especially occupied, 
crediting, as for that matter did all who surrounded 
her, the wise determination of the king to prevent by 
arms any attack directed against his dwelling. 

Madame de Lage then observed that at each new 
episode for the past two years the question had been 
merely that of the king's energy, and that every time 
at the last moment he had avoided force under the 
pretext that he did not wish " to appear armed against 
the people." The princess was convinced that the 
king realized his weakness and the evils it had caused. 



She thought he would certainly show more firmness 
in future. 

Madame de Ginestous, who saw more clearly than 
her mistress, was far from sharing her hopes, especially 
in those which concerned the king. But it was time 
to part, and the separation was sad and tender. 

" The princess," continued Madame de Lage, 
" promised to write me often; and, in fact, I received 
a letter from her dated August 8th, but this did not reach 
me until after she was in prison." 

The next day, August ist, the Comtesse left. 

For several days the agitation in the faubourgs was 
alarming; the people wanted to precipitate the downfall 
which they thought could be obtained only by marching 
upon the Tuileries, and the Mayor of Paris made every 
effort to calm them. As a last resort, on August 9th, 
the very evening before the day on which the ancient 
monarchy foundered, Petion distributed among the 
citizens a paper in which he strove to show them that 
they were being led astray. "The Assembly," said 
he, "is at present occupied with our greatest Interests. 
Let calm surround its walls, let it discuss matters in a 
calm and dignified manner, and let us wait with confi- 
dence the decree which will emanate from its wisdom. 
. . . I have heard it said that some wish to set 
the day and the hour for its edict. This idea is 
intolerable. ' ' 

In spite of these wise exhortations recommending 



calm, there was no further doubt but that the Tuileries 
were to be attacked that evening. 

At first the Swiss, by order of Mandat, and with the 
permission of Petion, left their barracks at Courbevoie 
and Rueil to join the defenders of the chateau. These 
consisted of some battalions of the National Guard, 
which some courtiers and several officers passing 
through Paris voluntarily joined. 

At midnight the bell of Notre Dame began to 
ring; this was the signal agreed on. The tocsin' then 
resounded on all sides ; everywhere the drum beat. 

The friends of the king were intensely anxious. 
The nobles and the officers, who had been on duty, 
seemed resolute. The Swiss, well disciplined, confident 
of their leaders, sacrificed their lives; some of the 
National Guard seemed animated by the highest senti- 
ments; others, on the contrary, whose hostility was 
beginning to be evident, waited only the issue of 
events to declare it. 

To cap the climax, Mandat, who had been invested 
with general command, and who had been given ex- 
plicit instructions to resist, was assassinated on the 
steps of the Hotel de Ville, just as he came to give an 
account of the measures he had taken. 

Deprived of their leader the defenders hesitated; the 
king did not know what to do. _ Before all else he 
wished to avoid a rupture. 

Throughout the entire night the Princesse de Lam- 
balle remained with the royal family, and when at 



daybreak the king amid loud cheers reviewed the Na- 
tional Guard and the Swiss, she went for the last time 
to her rooms. 

" Madame de Ginestous," says the Comtesse de 
Lage, " told me that about half-past six o'clock in the 
morning she went with Madame de Lamballe for the 
last time to her apartments in the Pavilion de Flore, 
two windows of which looked out from the first story 
on to the Pont Royal. With Monsieur de Clermont 
they took a stand before one of these windows to see 
the movement of the people and the arrival of the 
troops. For the first time her companion noticed that 
Madame de Lamballe looked sad and sinister, and to try 
to keep up her courage she said to the princess, ' Let 
us hope that we are about to be freed. Do you see the 
battalion of the Daughters of Saint Thomas? It has 
come to help us; the king's faction is larger than ever. 
All goes well, Madame.' " 

Whereupon Madame de Lamballe looked sadly at 
her and replied : 

" My dear, my dear, nothing will save us. I think 
we are lost." 

From this conversation it seems clear that our two 
unfortunate women were not deceived as to the out- 
come of the struggle; even the princess no longer had 
in the judgment of the king, in his prudence or in his 
resolution, that blind confidence which she had been 
able to inspire in others, or at least of which she had 
boasted July 31st, in her last interview with the Com- 



tesse de Lage; for Madame de Ginestous, until then 
supported by the same belief, seemed greatly surprised 
at this tardy revelation, and exclaimed : 

" Oh, my God! are you doubting the resolution of 
the king ? Is he no longer ready to put himself at 
the head of his party ? Oh, if he weakens, we are 
indeed lost! " 

After the review the king returned to his apartments, 
but was still undecided as to his course of action. 

Roederer, who saw the hostile disposition of the 
National Guard, who heard the cries of ' ' Hurrah for 
the Nation ! Petion ! The downfall ! ' ' given by the 
troops massed on the Carrousel, in response to the 
cheers of the Swiss for the king, dared not take it upon 
himself to affirm that the lives of the royal family were 
not in peril ; therefore he advised Louis XVI. to go 
to the Assembly. 

New and protracted hesitation followed on the part 
of this weak and incapable monarch, who did not 
decide until nine o'clock to follow Roederer's sugges- 
tion, while the queen begged him in mercy to act 
with energy and exhorted him to resist. 

Seeing that her efforts were of no avail Marie 
Antoinette, worthy daughter of Marie Therese, felt 
in her veins the blood of the Caesars, and turning to 
the deputies said : 

" Monsieur Roederer and gentlemen, will you answer 
for the person of the king and for that of my son ? " 



" Madame," replied Roederer, " we will promise to 
perish at your side; this is all we can guarantee." 

Beautiful words, truly, and for men determined to 
do their duty in such a situation the only possible 
reply to so embarrassing a question. What a contrast 
between this conduct, full of abnegation, and the 
eternal hesitation of the king ! 

In his thrilling account of the struggle at the 
Tuileries Colonel Pfyffer tells us, on the contrary, that 
as soon as the review was over a deputation presented 
itself to the king, who had returned to the chateau, 
and that thanks to their persistent efforts they pre- 
vailed on him to ask refuge for his family and himself 
in the Assembly ; * the remainder of the account con- 
firms the queen's heroic and firm conduct. 

" It was then," said he, " that a deputation of the 
National Guard, led by Monsieur Roederer, Monsieur 
de Baume, and a third member of the Department of 
Paris, came to beg the king, who had returned to the 
chateau, to go to the National Assembly. Monsieur 
de Bachman, witness of the instances in which they 
sought to bring the monarch to some decision, turned 
to Monsieur de Gibelin, saying, ' If the king goes to 
the Assembly he is lost.' These were the last words 
the comrades of this virtuous chief heard from him. 
The queen made futile efforts to prevent the mournful 
departure, after which the most heroic resistance, since 
it had become objectless, could have no good result." 

This determination was deplorable from every view- 



point ; for as soon as it became known the larger part 
of the National Guard still occupying the interior of 
the chateau made common cause with the battalions 
from the faubourgs. 

On their side, the sincere friends of the royal family, 
those who had rallied around them out of devotion, ready 
to give their last drop of blood, lost courage, and the 
confusion became general when the king was seen 
going on foot to the Assembly, followed by the queen 
holding her two children by the hand. They were 
accompanied only by Madame Elisabeth, Madame de 
Tourzel, and the Princesse de Lamballe. The latter 
as a relative of their Majesties had obtained permission 
to follow them. 

On his arrival the king sat down near the president; 
opposite were the queen, the children, and the royal 
suite; but upon the observation of one of the members 
that the presence of the king at the meeting was con- 
trary to the Constitution, Louis XVI. and his family 
were obliged to take refuge in the clerk's box, behind 
the president's chair." 

This narrow, half-dark room, which received light and 
air only through a thick grating, was intensely hot ; 
furthermore, the atmosphere was so heavy and over- 
powering that Madame de Lamballe, who always 
fainted easily, became nervous and had to be carried to 
the Feuillants." However, this time her indisposition 
lasted only a ^qw hours, when in spite of her lack of 
strength she insisted on returning to resume her place 
17 257 


beside the royal family, although Marie Antoinette sent 
word to her not to come back, advising her to go to her 
father-in-law until she recovered from her nervousness. 

To the physical suffering of the unfortunate family 
was added moral suffering which was much more painful. 
From time to time in the midst of the stormy delibera- 
tions of the Assembly the sinister firing of the cannon, 
mingled with groans and cries, reached them in a con- 
fused way, showing that in spite of the great sacrifice 
to which the king had at first consented the struggle 
and the shedding of blood still continued. 

In the midst of frightful confusion the Assembly 
decreed that until order was reestablished the king 
and his family should stay in their midst, and gave 
orders that suitable lodgings be at once prepared at the 
Fueillants. Commissioners were appointed with power 
to watch the allotting of these lodgings and to make sure 
that every one slept in the room assigned to him. 

Madame Elisabeth and Madame de Lamballe, says 
the Comtesse de Lage, slept in the same room, on 
mattresses laid on the floor, good Madame Mertins at 
their feet; the queen, Madame, and Monsieur the 
dauphin in another room, opening off of this, with the 
door open; the king in a chamber at the end of the 
corridor with a valet named Clery. 

The following day Madame Campan went to the 
Feuillants, and tells us in her " Memoires " interesting 
details as to the attitude of the king and the queen. 
Louis XVI. seemed to her completely overwhelmed. 



She found him occupied in having his hair cut. Better 
understanding the situation, which she considered des- 
perate, Marie Antoinette lost courage only at sight of 
her children. She could not help saying how much she 
had been troubled by the resignation of the king since 
his stay at the Feuillants, adding that he had his usual 
appetite;^ that that had produced a deplorable effect on 
the devoted deputies; but that no remonstrance had 
been made. 

The installation of the royal family at the Feuillants, 
however, was only temporary. The Assembly was 
not long in perceiving that its inmates were not per- 
fectly safe. It was absolutely necessary to find a place 
easy of defence and adapted to resist any surprise. 

The ancient house of Monsieur, the Luxembourg, 
was suggested, but Manuel had no difficulty in showing 
the danger this would entail, and spoke of the Temple 
as the place combining the greatest advantages, 
where the defence and chiefly the guarding would be 
more efficacious. His advice prevailed and the trans- 
fer was made Monday the 13th, at half-past six in the 
evening, in one of the large court carriages. 

The king took a seat at the back with the queen; 
the dauphin and Madame, Madame Elisabeth, Ma- 
dame de Lamballe, and Petion were on the front seat; 
Madame de Tourzel, whose account is such a valu- 
able help to us, occupied with her daughter one of the 
side seats, while Manuel and Colonges, the municipal 
officer, sat on the other. 



The procession stopped at the Place Vendome and 
proceeded the length of the boulevards, amidst shouts, 
threats, and cries of " Live the Nation! Long live 

At length, after a drive of no less than two hours 
and a half, a veritable ordeal for the royal family, 
they arrived at nightfall before that doleful prison 
which was to be the final dwelling of the unfor- 
tunate sovereigns, and which by the cruelest irony 
was illuminated as if for a fete day. 

The small tower of the Temple, although very in- 
commodious, had been arranged to accommodate the 
unfortunate family. They had to crowd together, for 
each floor contained only two small chambers connected 
by dressing-rooms. The princess occupied one of these, 
between that of the queen and the dauphin, still feel- 
ing herself happy in being near Marie Antoinette, to 
whom she could give care and sympathy. But it 
was decreed that she was not to have many hours 
with her friend : their eternal separation was at 

Why this sudden parting ? For what reason? Did 
the Commune before the large number of friends 
who in spite of the dangers had decided to follow the 
king to the end, fear that some method would be 
arranged outside to facilitate his escape ? 

This hypothesis is probable, for it was decided to 
leave with the king and his family only those absolutely 
necessary to them. 



This order was carried out the night of August 1 8th. 
Madame de Tourzel tells us of it in the following 
words : 

"Saturday the i8th," she wrote, " we heard among 
the municipal guard some talking which made us anx- 
ious. One of them who did not dare to express him- 
self openly strove to make us understand that for 
the time being we were to be separated from the royal 
family. What he said, however, was so unintelligible 
that we could make nothing of it. We went to bed as 
usual, but just as I was falling asleep Madame de Saint 
Brice awakened me and told me that they were arrest- 
ing Madame de Lamballe. A moment later we saw 
an officer enter my room; he ordered us to dress at 
once, saying that he had received word to conduct us 
to the Commune to undergo an examination, after 
which we were to be brought back to the Temple." 

There was nothing to do but to obey, and the poor 
women went down to Madame de Lamballe's room, 
which the queen was not slow in reaching. 

The separation of the two friends was heartbreak- 
ing; the princess on her knees was about to kiss the 
queen's hand, when " they tore her away, saying that 
such an act was well enough for a slave toward tyrants, 
but that in a free nation, in the midst of an equal peo- 
ple, it was not to be borne." 



One may easily imagine the grief of the poor wo- 
man who saw herself at so critical a moment separated 
from the family for which she had sacrificed her liberty 
and even her life. On the other hand, how touching 
a reward for her devotion were the final words of Marie 
Antoinette, addressed in a low tone to Madame de 
Tourzel : 

" If we are not fortunate enough to see one another 
again, take good care of Madame de Lamballe. On 
all solemn occasions be spokesman and save her as 
much as possible from having to answer troublesome 
and embarrassing questions." 

After traversing the lower passages of the Temple 
by the light of torches, the princess and a few court 
attendants entered three cabs, and, accompanied by 
officers and gendarmes, set out towards the Hotel de 
Ville. Arrived there, each prisoner was taken to a 
large room where the examination under the direction 
of Billaud-Varennes ' and a secretary was at once begun. 
Messieurs Hue and de Chamilly were called first, then 
Mesdames Thibaut, Navarre, and Saint-Brice, Not 
until three o'clock in the morning was the princess 



sent for to undergo her examination. This was one 
of the weakest and took only a few minutes. 

These absurd scenes, which lasted fifteen hours, 
threatened to continue forever on account of a dis- 
cussion which was brought up concerning the tak- 
ing back of the prisoners to the Temple. Finally 
the suggestion of Manuel was followed, and it was 
decided that the princess as well as each of her 
faithful attendants, except Hue, who had obtained 
permission to return to the Temple, was to be sent 
to La Force. The unfortunate women were not yet 
at the end of their torture. The cabs in which they 
were to be driven through the Rue des Ballets did not 
leave the Commune until noon, and in order to reach 
their destination they had to traverse streets filled with 
crowds which hurled at them all sorts of invectives. 
The formalities of the ordeal once over, the princess 
was locked in a small room. 

The good woman was so overcome, and her mind so 
affected, that on crossing the threshold of her prison 
she felt neither fear nor emotion. The only pain she 
experienced was at finding herself separated from Ma- 
dame de Tourzel and her daughter. Incapable of col- 
lecting her thoughts, in the face of the disasters which 
overwhelmed the royal family, she was indifferent to 
everything. However, having taken a greatly needed 
rest, she set herself to work to consider the terrible 
position in which she was placed. 

Madame de Tourzel on her part lamented loudly at 



being parted from her daughter. On entering her cell 
the jailer was witness to her violent despair. This man, 
who was really human, was filled with pity at sight of 
so motherly a show of feeling, and sought Manuel, no 
doubt to explain to him how needless was this excess of 
cruelty. His eloquence prevailed, for a few moments 
later the Procureur of the Commune sent Pauline back 
to her mother, and the joy felt by these two poor 
victims at being together again was such that Manuel 
himself, in the words of Madame de Tourzel, was 
moved and proposed to send them at once to Madame 
de Lamballe. 

The following morning (Monday, the 20th) at eight 
o'clock, according to his promise of the previous even- 
ing, Manuel came to take Madame de Tourzel and her 
daughter to the princess. The poor women had settled 
themselves among their surroundings as well as they 
could, and received from the outside world only what 
was absolutely necessary. Their days were spent in 
attending to their rooms, in sewing and in reading. 
Madame de Tourzel, from whom we borrow these 
details, gives us a most touching picture of the 
princess, describing her as ' ' gentle, good, and obliging, ' ' 
always ready to do " the smallest favor in her power." 

". . . This kind princess," she says farther on, 
" wished to be spoken to frankly, and on my saying 
that one who had acted as honorably as herself must 
not be childish, for that would harm her, but must 
begin to lead a new life, she replied gently that she had 



already formed such a resolution, and that she intended 
resuming her religious duties, which she had somewhat 

These several arrests had not left Paris unmoved. 
In his diary, August 20th, John Moore mentions them 
and gives as a cause " some secret correspondence of 
which the victims were accused." The " Moniteur " 
of Monday, August 20th, also refers to the transfer to La 
Force of Madame de Lamballe, Tourzelle {sic) mother 
and daughter, of three other waiting women be- 
longing to the queen, and of the royal prince, besides 
two valets who had followed the king to the Temple. 
The paper gives no reasons ; it states, however, that 
seals were put on their papers. 

The most interesting of all these accounts is without 
doubt that of the " Chronique de Paris," which we 
give in full. It will be seen that these letters, which 
apparently frightened the city so greatly, were the only 
grievances this sheet could advance, and they were 
purely imaginary : 

"The Royal Family in the Temple. 

' ' The face of the queen is greatly altered. The 
king's is in no way changed, and his appetite is unaf- 
fected. Madame de Lamballe, Madame de Tourzel 
and her daughter. Monsieur de Chamilly, and several 
others are in the Temple with him. Every effort has 
been made to carry on a correspondence. Already 
letters have been smuggled between the folds of a 



chemise, in a child's balloon, in a piece of almond cake, 
and in a pot of pomade. The municipal officers, in- 
formed about these details, on Saturday removed Mes- 
dames de Lamballe and de Tourzel, who left the queen 
with a show of affection which did honor to their at- 
tachment ; but they also gave proofs of that servile re- 
spect which Asiatic slaves have for despots, and this 
lessens the sympathy their love should inspire : they 
kissed the hands of the queen without daring to em- 
brace her. It was two o'clock in the morning; the 
king awakened and asked what was going on ; on being 
told that they did not want him, he turned over and 
again fell asleep. He rose as usual with a large ap- 
petite, which he promptly satisfied. We give these 
minute details because they may help to show the char- 
acters of the prisoners, and history may some day profit 
by them. 

" Mesdames de Lamballe and de Tourzel and Mon- 
sieur de Chamilly have been taken to the Hotel de la 

Let us now return to La Force and to the princess 
and her companions, whom we find saddened by lack 
of news. Uncertainty as to the fate of the queen 
especially affected them. From time to time they ven- 
tured to question their jailer, but the latter had orders 
to tell them nothing definite. For this reason the 
anxiety of the wretched women was all the greater. 
However, one day they received a visit from Manuel, 
whom they at once questioned on the subject upper- 
most in their minds. At'first Manuel refused to an- 
swer, giving as an excuse his feelings of hatred against 



the royal family; but by degrees becoming softened by 
their explanations and the loyal confession of their pro- 
found love for every member of the royal family, he 
completely reassured them and gave the princess a letter 
from her father-in-law. Then, not content with what 
he had already done, and more and more touched 
by the gratitude of the victims whom he had been sent 
to watch, Manuel gave them permission to write ' ' a few 
unsealed words, ' ' to receive letters, and — a still greater 
favor — ordered the jailer to let them walk in the court- 

Another time Colonges brought some coarse linen 
and, handing the package to the princess, ordered her 
to make shirts, under the pretext that it was custom- 
ary to work in prison. " They are for the use of our 
brothers-in-arms ; you are surely too loyal a patriot," 
said he, " not to sew them gladly." — " Nothing that 
can be useful to our fellow-countrymen," answered 
Madame de Lamballe gently, " shall be neglected by 
us." These shirts, however, were at once removed, 
probably by order of Manuel, and nothing more was 
heard of them. 

In spite of the change in her mode of life, in spite 
of the miseries of the prison, never, in the words of 
the governess, had the princess been in better health ; 
she was not troubled by the slightest nervous attack 
and bore her situation with angelic resignation. 

Sunday morning, September 2d, the jailer, with face 
contorted, entered the cells of his prisoners and told 



them he would not take them for their usual walk 
because of the agitation caused by the approach of the 
enemy's army. Greatly alarmed at this news, the 
meaning of which they could not understand, the un- 
fortunate women were beset by various conjectures. 
Except for the omission of the walk, that day passed 
like the preceding ones. When the prisoners had re- 
tired and had fallen asleep, a good-looking individual 
with rather a kindly face, whom as yet they had not 
seen, entered their room and ordered Pauline to rise 
and follow him. The unexpected arrival of this man 
and the command uttered in a tone which admitted of 
no reply, so filled the poor mother with terror that she 
did not even think of rising. Upon the stranger's in- 
sisting that no time be lost, Madame de Lamballe in 
spite of her fright began to attend to the preparations 
for Pauline's departure. The affair was over so quickly 
that the door was closed before Madame de Tourzel 
fully realized it all; she was completely overcome, 
speechless, unable to collect her thoughts. At length, 
thanks to the care and the kind words of the compas- 
sionate princess, Madame de Tourzel came to herself 
and was able to thank Madame de Lamballe for her 
thoughtfulness. We can do no bettter than quote the 
entire passage from her " Memoires " in which she 
gives high praise to the kindness of her companion in 
misfortune : 

" I shall always be grateful," she said, " to Ma- 
dame de Lamballe for all her goodness to me and to my 



daughter. It is impossible to be kinder than she was 
that dreadful night, or to show more sympathy and 

In short, the princess did not lose her presence of 
mind on that sad occasion, and did not think of taking 
the few hours remaining for sleep until after she had 
burned that part of her correspondence which might 
compromise her or her companions. Towards six 
o'clock in the morning the jailer suddenly entered to 
announce that they were to receive a visit. 

Scarcely had Francois given them this warning be- 
fore they saw six men enter armed to the teeth, who 
retired after they had asked the names of the prisoners. 
After the departure of the visitors the miserable women, 
filled with the greatest anxiety, incapable of under- 
standing the real aim of this sudden visit, threw them- 
selves on their knees and prayed, asking heaven to 
give them both the strength necessary to meet the dan- 
ger they feared. At the same time Madame de Lam- 
balle, wishing to see what was going on in the street, 
climbed to the window-sill ; but as soon as she was 
perceived she was aimed at and had to retire at once. 
She saw, however, that before the gate of the prison was 
a dense, tumultuous crowd, the sight of which served 
only to augment her terror. When she raised the 
window opening upon the interior of the prison there 
was not the slightest sound. The courtyard was filled 
with prisoners, calm and resigned. This was so striking 
a contrast to the outer agitation that she and her com- 



panion waited to obtain an explanation from the jailer. 
Not seeing him arrive, and in the hope of diverting their 
thoughts, they took up their sewing. 

At eleven o'clock in the morning the door again 
opened; armed men entered the room, asking for Ma- 
dame de Lamballe. Madame de Tourzel, whom they 
had not demanded, was unwilling, however, to abandon 
the princess, and both at once went out. They were 
ordered to be seated while the other women of the 
prison were assembled. Madame de Lamballe, who 
had eaten nothing since the previous evening, asked 
for some bread and wine to revive her failing strength 
and enable her to keep up until the end. Shortly after, 
they received orders to descend to the courtyard, where 
they found the attendants of the queen. 

Here things looked sinister. Everywhere were men 
with repellent faces, covered with rags, and for the 
most part intoxicated. These cowardly brutes had the 
cruelty to laugh and to heap the most ribald insults 
upon the unhappy prisoners who were being led out. 
The arrival of the princess was greeted with redoubled 
cries and shouts. But weak as she was she succeeded 
in compelling the respect of the wretches, who recoiled 
involuntarily to make way for her. 

Madame de Lamballe seated herself in a corner of 
the court, accompanied by Madame de Tourzel, who 
did not leave until the princess was summoned to appear 
in court. 

According to the account left us by her companion 



in misery the princess showed the greatest courage 
during the farewell scene. But once separated from 
her friend, overcome by the efforts made to reassure 
her, the poor creature's nerve gave way, and, com- 
pletely exhausted, she lost consciousness on entering 
the clerk's office. This fainting spell was easily ex- 
plained by the atmosphere of the revolutionary tribunal.^ 

This improvised tribunal was held in the chamber of 
Bault the concierge. The room was very small and 
was filled with a crowd of spectators. The air of this 
frightful place was atrocious. The vapors arising from 
the drunken crowd made one ill. Furthermore, the 
sight of the dreadful creatures who lined the public 
benches, and the moans of the dying, heard from with- 
out, were sufficient to shake stronger nerves than those 
of a woman. The president first plied her with the 
usual questions, regarding her name and title; then he 
asked her what she knew of the plots at court, of which 
she had probably heard, and of that of August loth 
in particular. 

The princess declared that she had never been 
informed of these facts. 

In conclusion she was called on to take the oath of 
liberty and equality, as well as that of hatred toward 
the king, the queen, and the royal family. 

At this supreme moment, when she was asked to 
perjure herself and give up those whom she held most 
dear, the princess seemed to gather herself together. 
The story is that some one leaned towards her and 



whispered that she was lost if she did not swear. But 
moved as by a hidden spring Madame de Lamballe 
made a violent effort and cried out : 

" I have nothing to answer. Whether I die sooner 
or later is a matter of indifference to me. I have sacri- 
ficed my life." 

Under the pretext that she had evaded the question, 
the president ordered her taken to the Abbaye.^ 

This was the death sentence. At once deafening 
cries and shouts mingled with cheers burst from all sides. 
Some of the more courageous ventured to raise their 
voices and ask the release of the princess, but these 
were soon deadened by the increasing tumult in the 
crowd, which was constantly demanding new victims 
to immolate. 

At that moment some men with haggard eyes and 
bare arms red with blood, rushed towards the poor crea- 
ture and dragged the princess away. Scarcely had she 
crossed the threshold when she received, they say, on 
the back of her head a blow from a sabre. She was 
covered with blood ; her hair was loosened ; hands con- 
tinued to push her; she staggered over corpses with 
which she was forced to come into contact. She could 
scarcely stand ; at last she fell back exhausted. She 
was immediately raised; two men seized her by the 
arms and compelled her to move on. 

But human endurance has Its limit, and when her 
strength had completely left her and she had become 



inert, the men who supported her threw her on a pile 
of dead bodies. 

Then these murderers, maddened by the dastardly 
crowd around the victims, were pitiless enough to rush 
upon this palpitating body and cut ofF its head. 

Having reached this point in the drama, we shall be 
very reserved. There are in fact numerous accounts 
of the massacres of September, and particularly of the 
death of the Princesse de Lamballe. But historians 
differ, the most of them yielding to their personal feel- 
ings. As none of them were eye-witnesses, their de- 
scriptions suffer. Others of still livelier imaginations, 
and with the confessed object of interesting their 
readers, have added details of such horror that we can- 
not even repeat them. 

Consequently, in the face of their lack of historical 
value, we will refrain even from giving the passages 
which seem probable, and will merely cite without 
comment those which seem to us least known. It is 
generally believed that some men took possession of 
the head of the princess and carried it to a wine mer- 
chant's to drink its health. Furthermore, a hairdresser 
was asked to curl the hair, to paint the cheeks — in a 
word, to make it beautiful. 

It is absolutely certain that this head and this body 
were carried through the streets — the one on a pike, the 
other dragged by means of a rope — as far as the Temple. 
The object was to exhibit the bloody remains to the royal 
family. We give an account of the gloomy proces- 
i8 273 


sion written by a municipal officer In the Service of the 
Temple — an account which is, we believe, even if it 
has been before published, only slightly known : 

*' The following day, September 3d, we learned that 
there was trouble in the prisons. Shortly after, we 
heard of the massacre of some of those connected with 
the court; at last about one o'clock we were told of 
the death of the Princesse de Lamballe, whose head, 
they said, they were carrying to be kissed by Marie 
Antoinette ; then they meant to drag the bodies of both 
women through the streets of Paris. 

" In the name of the Council of the Temple I 
wrote both to the Consul-general of the Commune and 
to the President of the Legislative Body to inform 
them of the danger which threatened the hostages con- 
fided to our charge. We asked each to send six 
commissioners from the bodies which enjoyed most 
public favor, repeating that whatever happened we 
expected entire devotion to us. 

" Yet an orderly sent to reconnoitre announced that 
an immense crowd was rushing to the Temple with the 
head of the Princesse de Lamballe; that they were drag- 
ging with them her body and shouting for Marie An- 
toinette, and that in five minutes they would be at the 

" Two commissioners were at once despatched to 
find out the intentions of the people and apparently to 
make friends with them if circumstances demanded it. 
Above all the commissioners were to get possession of 
the pike, for carried according to our directions it 
would serve as a guide to the crowd, which in this way 
would be managed more easily. 

" Two other commissioners were charged to go to 



the suburbs to inform those who seemed most hot- 
headed that Paris could never recover from so atrocious 
and needless a crime if it so compromised itself, etc. 
Several good citizens joined them, promising us to use 
every effort to bring the most obstinate to reason. The 
noise increased, and with it the confusion. The Chief 
of Police asked our orders, adding that he had four hun- 
dred well-armed men for whom he could answer, but 
that he would assume nothing himself. We told him 
that we intended using force only as a final resort; that 
our duty first compelled us to try persuasion ; that con- 
sequently he must be careful about using arms, etc. 
He made his plans accordingly. 

' ' Already the crowd in the street was dense ; we 
had the great gate opened in order that those on the 
outside might become calmed on seeing our peaceful 
intentions. A portion of the National Guard lined up 
without arms from the outer gate to the next one con- 
firmed our attitude. However, all arms, posts, and 
avenues were well guarded, as we feared a surprise. 

" Uproarious and prolonged cries of ' Here they are ! ' 
were heard. A tri-colored band hastily fastened out- 
side the gate on the street was the only rampart with 
which the magistrate opposed that apparently over- 
whelming torrent. A chair was placed behind; I 
mounted it and waited; the bloody procession arrived. 

" At sight of the revered emblem those hearts drunk 
with blood and wine seemed to cast aside the fury of 
homicide to give place to national respect. Each one 
used what strength he had to prevent the desecration 
of the sacred barrier. To touch it seemed a crime. 
. . . They wanted to seem what they thought they 
were — virtuous. So much does opinion, which is the 
standard of public morals, hold sway over the very man 



who, while insulting it, renders it glorious homage ! 
Two men were dragging by the legs a naked, headless 
trunk slit open to the breast, its back on the ground. 
They halted before the swaying platform, at the feet of 
which the body was laid with a show of solemnity, the 
limbs arranged carefully, and with an indifference that 
gives to the philosopher much room for thought. 

" At my right, on the end of a pike, was a head 
which at the gesticulations of the bearer often touched 
my face. At my left another fiend, more horrible 
still, was holding in one hand pressed against me the 
entrails of the victim, and in the other a huge knife. 
Behind these a great coal-heaver was waving, suspended 
from a pike above my forehead, the fragment of a 
chemise soaked in blood and slime. 

" My right arm had been extended since their ar- 
rival, and without making any sign or movement I 
awaited silence; I obtained it. 

" I told them that magistrates chosen by them were 
charged with a trust by the National Assembly, a trust 
for which they must render account to this Assembly 
as well as to the whole of France, and that they had 
sworn to give back this trust in the condition in which 
they had received it ; that we had been told in vain that 
complaints had been made against the prisoners as a 
pretext for the use of arms against them; that this 
measure had been rejected with horror, persuaded as we 
were that Frenchmen had only to hear the language of 
justice to listen to it. I made them realize how impol- 
itic it would be to get rid of such valuable hostages 
just as the enemy was master of our frontiers. On 
the other hand, would not the innocence of these 
hostages be proven by the fact that we dared not try 
them ? How much more worthy of a great people it 



was, I added, to strike on the scaffold a king guilty of 
treason ! This wholesome example in carrying just 
terror into the souls of the tyrants would impress on 
that of the people a sacred respect for our nation, etc. 
I concluded by inviting them to fortify themselves 
against the advice of some merchants who wished to 
lead the Parisians into excess in order afterwards to ca- 
lumniate them in the minds of their brothers in the 
departments. To testify to them the confidence the 
Council had in their wisdom I told them that it had 
decreed that six of them should be admitted to a tour 
of the garden, the commissioners at their head. 

" The gate was at once opened and about a dozen 
of them entered with their spoils. We conducted them 
with courtesy as far as the tower, but because of the 
workmen among them, it was difficult to restrain them. 
Some called Marie Antoinette to come to the win- 
dows; others said if she did not show herself they 
must ascend and make her kiss the princess's head. 
We threw ourselves in front of these madmen, assuring 
them that they should carry our their frightful ideas 
only after they had passed over the bodies of their mag- 
istrates. One of these wretches said that I was play- 
ing the part of tyrant and came at me with his pike 
with such fury that I must certainly have fallen under 
his blows had I shown weakness, and had not a citizen 
thrown himself between us, saying that in my place he 
should have been obliged to act as I had done. My 
calmness impressed him, and on leaving he was the 
first to embrace me, saying that I was a fine fellow. 
However, two commissioners had hurled themselves in 
front of the first gate of the tower, to defend its ap- 
proach with the courage of devotion. Then, seeing that 
they could obtain nothing from us, the ruffians swore 



terrible oaths, giving vent to dreadful shouts in the 
most obscene and disgusting terms. This was the final 
gasp of fury, and we let it pass. However, fearing that 
the scene might lead to a climax worthy of the actors, 
I undertook to harangue them again. But what could 
I say ? How reach those unfeeling brutes ? I gained 
their attention by gestures; they looked and listened. 
I praised their courage, their deeds. I made heroes of 
them. Then seeing them soften, by degrees I mingled 
reproach with praise. I told them that the spoils they 
brought were the property of all. By what right, I 
added, can you alone enjoy your conquest ? Does it 
not belong to all Paris ? And should you deprive the 
city of the pleasure of sharing your triumph ? Night 
will soon be here ; hasten therefore to leave this place, 
which is too narrow for your glory. At the Palais 
Royal, in the Garden of the Tuileries, where so many 
times has been trampled under foot the sovereignty of 
the people, you should place this trophy, an everlasting 
monument of the victory you have just won. 

" Shouts of ' To the Palais Royal ! ' showed me that 
my absurd harangue had told. They departed, leaving 
us covered with blood and wine from their horrible 

" However, the Legislative Assembly sent the six 
commissioners we had asked for. They learned with 
pleasure that the reports already spread abroad were 
false, and showed us in the name of the legislative 
body their satisfaction at the way we had acted. 

" Scarcely were the commissioners gone before 
Mayor Petion arrived. He seemed in despair because, 
as he thought, we had let the people force Marie An- 
toinette to kiss De Lamballe's head. ' Never should 
magistrates,' said he, ' have allowed such a dreadful 



thing.' He was delighted to learn not only that no 
one had entered the tower, but that the commissioners 
who were near the prisoners had not even permitted 
them to approach the window to see what was the cause 
of the noise they heard in the garden, but had sent 
them at once into a rear room. The Commander- 
general Santerre also came to us." ' 



Some historians say that from the Temple the pro- 
cession passed to the Palais Royal and then to the 
Hotel de Toulouse. It is positive that the body of the 
unfortunate victim was taken to the district of the 
Quinze-Vingts. The official account of this, vv'ritten 
hastily in the midst of the confusion, unfortunately does 
not indicate the time, while that concerning the head 
gives the exact hour. It was seven o'clock at night. 
This second report alone, which is more explicit, 
proves to us that that beautiful head, covered with its 
marvellous hair, rests in the cemetery of the Enfants- 

We append both accounts. They are fuller than 
those given by any historian so far, and contain the 
description of the famous ring of hair which Marie 
Antoinette sent to her friend during the stay of the 
latter at Aix-la-Chapelle : 

" Death of the ci-devant Princesse Lamballe. 

" [Extract from the official reports of the district 
of the Quinze-Vingts.] 

" On the 3d of September, in the year 1792, the 
fourth year of Liberty and Equality, there appeared 



before the Permanent Committee of the district of the 
Quinze-Vingts Sieurs Jacques Charles Hervelin, drum- 
mer of the gunners of the district of the Halles, former 
battalion of Saint Jacques de la Boucherie, dwelling 
number 3 Rue de la Savonnerie, opposite the little street 
of Avignon au Cadran Bleu ; Jean Gabriel Quervelle, 
cabinet-maker, at the corner of the Rue du Fauxbourg 
Saint-Antoine and the Rue Saint Nicolas, Maison a 
Bouneau ; Antoine Pouquet, gunner of the district of 
Montreuil, number 25 Rue de Charonne, at Sieur 
Vicq's; and Pierre Ferrie, dealer in fancy goods, num- 
ber 39 Rue Popincourt. These men were bearers of 
the headless body of the ci-devant Princesse de Lam- 
balje, who had just been killed at the HStel de la Force, 
and whose head was carried by others on a pike through 
the principal streets. They stated that in her clothes 
they had found the following articles — namely, a small 
volume bound in red morocco with gilt edges, entitled 
' Imitation de J.-C. '; a red morocco portfolio; a case 
containing eighteen national assignats ^ of five livres 
each ; a gold ring with a bezel of changeable blue stone, 
in which was some blond hair tied in a love-knot with 
these words above it : ' Whitened through misery ' ; 
an English bulb ; a small ivory pencil-holder containing 
a gold pen with two small gold rings ; a small two- 
bladed knife, the handle of tortoise-shell and silver; 
a corkscrew of English steel ; a small pair of pincers of 
the same metal ; a small card attached to a vignette 
bearing undecipherable words; a bit of paper on which 
was written a laundry list; two small glass flasks used 
for inkstands, with gold tops, and some sticks of 
different colored sealing-wax ; a sort of double-faced 
image, on one side representing a bleeding heart sur- 
rounded with thorns and pierced by a dagger, with 



these words below: ' Cor Jesu, salva nos, perimur,' on 
the other a bleeding heart with a fleur-de-lis above, 
and below the words: ' Cor Marise unitum cordi 
Christi ' ; a medallion on light blue cloth, on which 
was painted a bleeding heart pierced by a dagger, em- 
broidered in blue silk. These articles were verified by 
us in the presence of the above-named and the under- 
signed to whom we gave them all, in order that they 
might be laid before the National Assembly. This the 
undersigned promised and swore should be done. All 
this having been arranged they gave us a written re- 
ceipt and signed with us, commissioners. 

'* Caumont, Borie, Savard, Commissioners. 
" Renet, Clerk of the Secretary. 

"The same day at seven o'clock a citizen named 
Jacques Pointel, living in the section of the Halle 
au Bled, number 69 Rue des Petits Champs, ap- 
peared before the Committee from the district of 
the Quinze-Vingts. He asked us to be kind enough 
to use our authority to have the head of the late 
Princesse de Lamballe buried, as he had succeeded 
in obtaining it. Unable to do otherwise than approve 
the patriotism and the humanity of the aforesaid citizen, 
we, the undersigned commissioners, went at once to 
the cemetery of the Enfants-Trouves and had the afore- 
said head buried there, drawing up for future use the 
present official account of the burial, which said Pointel 
signed with us. 

" Desesquelle and Savard, Commissioners. 

" Pointel. 

" Renet, Secretary. 

" At the same time were presented Messieurs 
Hervelin, Quervelle, Pouquet, Ferrie, and Roussel, 



named in the above account. They showed us a re- 
ceipt for all the effects mentioned in the present report, 
with the exception of ninety livres in assignats, of which 
no mention is made; consequently we commissioners 
of the district, because of this omission of the bills, 
say that one of us accompanied by the Clerk of the 
Secretary from the district will go at once to the Com- 
mittee of Vigilance of the National Assembly in order 
to learn the reason for this omission, and we have 
signed ourselves 

" Savard, Desesquelle, Commissioners. 
" Renet, Secretary, 

*' The attestation of the Committee of Vigilance 
given to the Commissioners and to the Clerk of the 
Secretary in the presence of the above-named. The 
Committee of Vigilance declares that it was not bound 
to account for the ninety livres in assignats, because the 
citizens had kept them — after having shown them, as 
three of those present testified immediately in the 
presence of the Commissioner from the district of the 
Quinze-Vingts. The Committee sent to the district 
to find out and judge of the reason for this retention. 
At the Committee of Public Safety, September 3d, 
fourth year of Liberty and Equality. 

" Bernard, President. 

*' Basire, Secretary. 
" Claude, Fauches, Mosson, Vardon, Lomont." 

It may not be wholly useless to know the opinion 
of the newspapers on the subject of this frightful crime. 
Their attitude is curious indeed. The papers which 
dared, deliberately drew a veil over this dreadful page of 

the Revolution. 



The " Thermometre du Jour" merely related the 
facts without comment; the " Chronique " did not 
venture to speak of the event until five days after. 
Moreover, it vi'as uncertain as to the exact date of the 

" Louis XVI.," it says in the article entitled " Va- 
rietes," "shows a sort of forced composure: he 
translates Horace and teaches his son verses of tragedy. 
On the afternoon of the 2nd he was told that he must 
consent to see Madame de Lamballe's head, which a 
few men from the immense crowd surrounding the 
Temple had brought to show him. Marie Antoinette 
and Louis XVL showed some emotion. The king 
advanced without hesitation. He has had a good sup- 
per and the entire family always have fine appetites." 

The " Courrier Fran^ais " is trying to exonerate 
Manuel, and attributes the massacres to the fear felt by 
the people at leaving their relatives in the midst of the 
brigands of the capital while they rushed to the frontier : 

' ' What a night ! What a day ! The Procureur of 
the Commune tried in vain to bar with his body 
the door of the Abbaye. He succeeded no better 
than did the deputies of the National Assembly. The 
people made it a duty to purge the city of all criminals 
so that while they are away fighting the Austrians they 
need not fear an exodus from the prisons against the 
women and children. 

" There is no longer at the Chatelet any one but 
the concierge. They have liberated the innocent and 



those imprisoned for debt. Twenty-four women also 
have been spared. Madame de Lamballe has lost her 

Thus the paper does not enter into details but merely 
states that Madame de Lamballe lost her life. Nor is 
the matter referred to again. Three days later, on the 
7th of September, the " Courrier " gives a few details 
of the events that took place that afternoon before the 
Temple. This was no doubt intentional or in accord- 
ance with instructions, followed through fear, not to 
dwell on the dreadful butchery in the Rue des Ballets. 

" The 3d of September the commandants of the posts 
were informed that an immense crowd was rushing to 
the Temple with the head of Madame de Lamballe. 
Only a tri-colored band impeded their mad rush. This 
band bore the following inscription : ' Citizens, you 
who to just vengeance can join a love of order, respect 
this barrier; our care and our responsibility make it 
necessary.' The people respected the barrier, but 
they demanded that some commissioners accompany 
them in order to carry the head of Madame de Lamballe 
around the tower. ' We desire,' said the spokesman, 
' that those who have caused so much trouble may see 
the sad and fatal result of their conspiracies and their 
infernal plots.' The commissioners thought they 
ought to yield to the wishes of the people. Messieurs 
Chardier, Guichard, an officer of the National Guard, 
and the patriot Palloi determined to warn the king and 
his family. Madame Elisabeth showed some fear; 
Louis XVL appeared at once. ' Tou are wholly in the 
right. Monsieur,' said he to the speaker." 



The following account is no more explicit than the 

" Paris, September 4th. 

" It was absolutely impossible for us yesterday to 
give an account of the events of the previous evening, 
the affairs which must have engrossed every good citi- 
zen. The difficulty of giving positive details in the 
midst of so many contradictory reports prevented us 
from so doing, and our readers will prefer us to defer 
the account which they consider due rather than that 
it should be inexact. 

" Madame de Lamballe's head was cut off and her 
body borne through the streets. We are told that 
Mademoiselle de Tourzel was respected on account of 
her youth, but her mother was subjected to the same 
fate as Madame de Lamballe." 

Now that we have indicated the sources from which 
our readers may find details of the massacres and have 
given the tone of some important papers of that time, 
let us name various accounts less known, and absolutely 
fictitious, which seem to have been written merely to 
render this atrocious crime still more odious. 

We will commence with M. W. Lindsay, a phleg- 
matic Englishman, who knows nothing because he saw 
nothing, but who feels so much horror in relating such 
infamies that he prefers to keep silent. This is a fine 
way to write history and one which fortunately for us 
has not always been followed. 

The account of the Abbe Barruel is a tissue of 
blunders written for the needs of the cause which 



he defends with a tendency towards intentional exag- 
geration : 

" At the feet of those piles of corpses," we read in 
his work, "another kind of experience was awaiting 
an illustrious victim. Madame de Lamballe, that prin- 
cess so justly celebrated for her attachment to the royal 
family, preferring danger near her king and queen 
rather than a place of safety and the homage of Lon- 
don, was at first taken to the prison of the Temple and 
then to that of La Force. The Jacobins had to punish 
her for her fidelity. 

" This victim was a choice bit for their rage. She 
would have been the first sacrificed, but the massacre 
had begun at La Force early in the night and it was in 
broad daylight that they wished to immolate her. 
About three o'clock in the morning she saw the first 
signs of her ordeal. One of the murderous duumvirs, 
the so-called judges of the people, went to the prison 
of the women shouting to the executioner and to the 
guards in the courtyard : ' Citizens, the people have 
sent me to put the Princesse de Lamballe through a 
first examination; I will return in a moment and tell 
you the result.' He did return but was silent as to 
the result. The courage of the princess had covered 
him with confusion, although it had in no way lessened 
his rage. About seven o'clock the duumvir, followed 
by twenty men bearing pikes or bayonets, came back 
again and shouted : ' Citizens, we are going to get the 
Princesse de Lamballe.' Before long the princess, 
dragged by the hair, appeared in the courtyard where 
the prisoners were awaiting their sentences. Until nine 
o'clock she saw crowds coming and going, but pre- 
serving a noble dignity she stood, awaiting sure death, 



refusing even the comfort of a chair which was offered 

" At nine o'clock she was called to the court of the 
ferocious duumvirs. They reproached her with hav- 
ing been an accomplice in the crimes of the queen against 
the nation. She replied, ' I know of no crimes of the 
queen against the nation.' — ' You were informed of the 
conspiracy of August loth against the people.' — ' I still 
protest that I am ignorant of any such conspiracy against 
the people. ' — ' You have corresponded with the emigres 
and you have received from the Prince de Conde this 
letter which is before you. ' — ' To receive letters from a 
relative is no crime; this letter contains nothing against 
the nation. ' — ' Swear with us hatred against the king, 
the queen, and royalty.' — ' No such feeling is in my 
heart. I cannot swear it.' 

" At this reply the duumvirs pronounced the fatal 
word ' Discharged. ' The princess was dragged toward 
the gate. 

" At sight of her shouts of savage joy run along the 
double line of executioners. Her death is decided on, 
but it will ill satisfy their rage if they cannot add to it 
the pleasure of having humiliated her. 

" As she passes the line stretching out to the heap 
of corpses some executioners rush forward and bar her 
way ; with ferocious smiles on their lips, with brutal 
sarcasms in their mouths, with monstrous pride in their 
hearts they strike with bloody hands the cheeks of their 
august victim. The plaything of these atrocious bandits, 
she summons all her strength. She does not lose it even 
at the sight of the horrible trophy. At the place where 
the chief of the brigands was accustomed to demand the 
oath of Liberty and Equality he orders the Princesse de 
Lamballe to kneel and to ask pardon of the nation. 



" ' I have not sinned against the nation. I have no 
pardon to ask of it.' — ' Your forgiveness depends upon 
your obedience.' — ' I do not ask mercy from brigands 
such as you who dare to call yourselves the nation.' — 
' Once more if you value your life, obey, kneel, and 
ask pardon.' — ' No, I will not kneel; no, I have no 
mercy, no pardon to ask. ' 

" Thus this generous soul showed herself firm, un- 
wearying, determined. A thousand voices from the 
maddened crowd cried in vain : ' On your knees and 
ask pardon.' 

" She remains standing. Two enraged execution- 
ers, one on each side, seize her by the hands and 
twist with sufficient force to dislocate them. She 
gathers all her remaining strength and says : ' Pull, 
hangmen. Never, never will I ask pardon.' 

" With all the madness of fury other executioners 
spring upon her and with redoubled blows from their 
sabres slit her open and disembowel her. Her head, 
remarkable for its long hair, soon appeared on the end 
of a pike ; her heart torn by the teeth of a brigand was 
thrown into a basin. 

"This head and heart were carried in triumph 
through the streets of Paris as far as the Temple, and 
even before the eyes of the king, who was compelled 
to look at them. Fortunately the queen had fainted 
from horror and so was spared the frightful sight. 

" The least of the outrages done to the body of the 
princess was to strip it and throw it on a heap of 
corpses. It remained there until the end of the hor- 
rible massacre, feet and back turned toward the prison. 
It was still there on the night of the 3d of September, 
when Monsieur Flaust, curate of the Maisons, was led 
to the place by the executioners." 
19 289 


We have not yet finished with exaggeration, as is 
shown by the following account : 

"... At last the 2nd of September arrived, the 
day on which the massacres became general in Paris. 
All the prisons were broken into and all found there, 
even though they were for the most part good patriots 
and zealous partisans of the Constitution, were in- 
humanly massacred and cut to pieces. The number 
reached twelve thousand. Monsieur Louvet even stated 
on the 29th of October, before the National Conven- 
tion, that twenty-eight thousand had perished. The 
streets ran with blood. 

" The murder of the charming Princesse de Lam- 
balle, the intimate friend of the queen, excited general 
pity. The monsters dragged her from prison, stripped 
her, maltreated her, insulted her, committed infamous 
outrages on her, forced her to kiss bloody corpses, cut 
ofF her breasts and various other portions of her body, 
slashed her with swords, severed her head, which they 
carried on a pike through the principal streets of the 
capital, and dragged her mutilated body through the 
bloody mire. 

" Truly she died an heroic death. Having obtained 
permission to make her will she wrote it with the 
greatest calmness, handed the document to an urchin 
who stood near by and cried, ' Almighty God, receive 
roy soul ! Come on, tigers, I am ready. Kill me ! ' 
One of t'-^e brigands carried on the end of a pike that 
head from which hung a mass of blonde hair soaked 
with blood. He was followed by another, who carried 
in his hand the bloody heart of the princess while her 
entrails were twisted around his arm. In this way 
they passed under the windows of the Due de Pen- 


thievre, whom they forced to gaze on the mutilated 
members of his daughter-in-law. From there they 
proceeded to the Temple, to the royal family. The 
queen fainted at the horrible sight. All the carriages 
in the streets were stopped and their occupants com- 
pelled to kiss the head of the princess. One monster 
boasted of having made his dinner on the heart of 
Madame de Lamballe. 

" At the murder of the princess there was in the 
crowd of spectators a man of some feeling. Seeing the 
infamous insults which the assassins heaped upon the 
naked body of the princess, ... he cried out in his 
indignation, ' Shame, you wretches ! Remember that 
you have wives and mothers ! ' Instantly he was 
pierced by a thousand blades and his mutilated body 
was torn to pieces." 

Finally we will quote the version of the Comte 
de Fersen,^ who had been abroad since the journey to 

" Madame la Princesse de Lamballe," he wrote, 
" has been tortured most horribly for four hours. My 
pen refuses to write the details. They tore out 
her entrails with their teeth and afterwards gave her 
every possible restorative for two hours to resuscitate 
her that she might more fully realize the torture of 

We will conclude with Retif de la Bretonne, an au- 
thority seldom consulted perhaps, yet of use in regard to 
the customs of the end of the eighteenth century. In 
his work Retif refers three times to these events. 
First, in " L'Annee des Dames Nationales " in the 



XI. hors-d' oeuvre^ in which he says in substance that 
he has sought eye-witnesses: " I have found them," 
he continues. " I state nothing of which I am not 
sure. I am unlike many others who far from seeking 
the truth ignore it when it does not tally with their 
preconceived ideas." 

Then in " Monsieur Nicolas," in which he attrib- 
utes to Tallien the honor of having saved Madame 
aiid Mademoiselle de Tourzel. 

The third and most interesting account, in which 
Retif assumes the position of eye-witness and in which 
at the supreme moment he fainted away, shows us the 
difficulty experienced by this friend of facts in relating 
an episode which with writers of the Revolution is one 
of the strong points : 

" I arose dazed with terror. The night had not 
refreshed me, but had inflamed my blood. I went out. 
... I listened, I was among those running to the 
scene of the disasters, for such was their expression. 
Passing in front of the Conciergerie I saw an assassin 
who they told me was a sailor from Marseilles, his 
wrist swollen from fatigue. ... I passed on. Before 
the Chatelet lay piles of dead. I started to flee. . . . 
Yet I followed the crowds. I reached the Rue Saint- 
Antoine, at the end of the Rue des Ballets, just as a 
wretched victim, who had seen how they were killing 
his predecessor, instead of stopping overwhelmed on 
passing through the gate, started to run at full speed. 
A man who did not belong to the butchers, but who 
was one of those numberless unthinking machines, 



stopped him with his pike. The miserable wretch was 
attacked by pursuers and murdered. The man who 
had stopped him said to us coldly, 'I did not know that 
they wanted to kill him.' This prelude was enough 
to make me turn back when another scene met my eye. 
I saw two women come out ; one whom I have since 
known through the interesting Sainte-Brice as lady-in- 
waiting to a former royal princess, a young person of 
sixteen years, Mademoiselle de Tourzel. 

" There was a cessation of the murders: something 
was taking place within. ... I flattered myself that 
all was over. At last I saw another woman come out ; 
she was as pale as her linen and was supported by a 
jailer. They shouted to her roughly, ' Cry Long live 
the Nation! ' — ' No, no ! ' said she. 

" They made her mount a pile of corpses. One of 
the butchers seized the jailer and thrust him aside. 
' Oh ! ' cried the unfortunate woman, ' do not hurt 
him.' Again they bade her cry ''Long live the Nation!' 
She refused with scorn. Then a butcher seized her, 
tore ofF her clothes and ripped open her stomach. 
She fell and was finished by the others. . . . 

" My imagination had never pictured such horrors. 
I strove to flee, my limbs gave way, I fainted. . . . 
When I came to myself I saw the bloody head. . . . 
I was told that they were going to wash it, curl the 
hair, put it on the end of a pike, and carry it beneath 
the windows of the Temple. Needless cruelty ! It 
could not be seen from them. . . . This unfortunate 
creature was Madame de Lamballe." 

We have now reached the most critical point in our 
work. Expected to give a decision that we know in ad- 
vance must be somewhat uncertain because of the numer- 



ous lapses in the history of that time, our mind hes- 
itates; it seems unjust, even cruel to the memory of 
certain individuals to throw the opprobrium of this 
crime on one rather than on another. 

By their numerous researches some conscientious 
v/riters have thought it possible to fix the part of each 
of the instigators and actors in these terrible scenes. 
But none of them has entirely succeeded in this un- 
dertaking. History is not content w^ith simple suppo- 
sitions, and as it is impossible to find any document 
whatsoever absolutely compromising the accused we do 
not intend to follow them. Moreover, this impossi- 
bility has already been recognized doubtless because 
of the substitution and even of the disappearance of all 
compromising documents, since at the time of the trials 
of the authors of the September massacres, of which 
we are about to speak, they did not follow those who 
gave the orders, but only those who executed them. 

On the other hand we will give the famous circular 
sent the 3rd of September by the Committee of Vigil- 
ance of the Commune to all it departments : 

" The Commune of Paris hastens to inform its 
brothers and all the departments that some of the fero- 
cious conspirators shut up in the prisons have been 
put to death by the people, an act of justice which 
seemed necessary to terrify, and so to restrain those 
legions of traitors hidden within the walls at the 
moment when they themselves were about to march 
against the enemy j and no doubt the whole nation, 



after the long continuance of the treacherous acts 
which led it to the brink of the abyss, would hasten to 
adopt this means so essential to the public safety, and 
all Frenchmen would cry out as the Parisians had 

" ' We are marching against the enemy, but we will 
not leave behind us brigands to cut the throats of our 
wives and children. . . .' " 

What are the signatures to this address ? In the 
first place Danton, who as Minister of Justice coun- 
tersigned it; the ten members of the Committee of 
Vigilance: Panis, Sergent, P.-J. Duplain, Jourdeuil, 
Leclerc, Lenfant, Cally, Duffort, Guermeur, Defor- 
gues («V). 

These were the men who consented to shoulder the 
responsibility of the deed. 

But no ! Desforgues, the thirteenth Thermidor, 
the third year (Monday, the 17th of August, 1795), 
protested against the affixing of his signature to the 
incriminating circular, because the twenty-sixth Ther- 
midor he was under arrest. 

" I can," said he, "with one word render powerless 
all the shafts of calumny. I swear that I never signed 
the celebrated circular in question." 

And he strives to prove that he was not really elected 
until the 14th of September, and that for this reason 
he could not be prosecuted on account of the massacres, 
which began on the 2nd. 



On the other hand, we give below a document 
which relates to the same matter, and in which the 
name of Desforgues occurs on the margin : 

" Department of the Police and the National Guard, 
Municipality of Paris. 

" We, the undersigned, appointed by the Mayor on 
the Police and Vigilance Committee by a decree of 
the Commune which states that one of us (Panis) shall 
choose three colleagues who with him shall constitute 
the Committee — we have resolved, considering the 
crisis of affairs and the various and important works 
to which we must attend, to appoint as associate ad- 
ministrators our six citizens : Marat, the friend of the 
people; Desforgues (Chief of the Bureau of the May- 
oralty) ; Lenfant, Guermeur, Leclerc, and Duftort, 
who shall sign with us under our inspection, since we 
the four undersigned are responsible for the whole. 
At the Mayoralty, September 2nd, '92, the first year. 
Administrators of Police and Vigilance Committee, 
" Pierre Duplain, Panis, Sergent, Jourdeuil." 

In this document, dated September 2nd, the name 
of Marat appears, and on September 14th it is re- 
placed by that of Cally. 

Does not this circular tend to prove that the Com*- 
mittee appointed members without consulting them? 

And what would then become of the Collot-d'Her- 
bois, the Billaud-Varennes, the Stanislas-Maillard, Tal- 
lien, and others ? 

The first as president of the section of the Biblio- 



theque signed August l8, 1792, the following decree 
stating that " as Monsieur Vesbre (for Weber), foster 
brother of the wfe of the king^ was about to send away 
his furniture and go himself, two commissioners went 
to his home to put it under lock and key and make 
sure of his person." 

Panis, the brother-in-law of Santerre, in a half- 
sheet leaflet in-8, 18 14, also protested against his 
having been implicated in the massacres. This pamph- 
let was without the name of any printer and was 
signed " Panis, Attorney for Parliament and Deputy 
from Paris to the National Convention." 

" The author," says Monsieur Barthelemy Maurice, 
" died in 1827 poor and unknown, as did most of the 
Revolutionists. Replying to an article in the ' Gazette 
de France' October 13, 1814, he attempts to prove 
that it was the same with Danton and several of 
his colleagues on the Committee. This is wholly 
contrary to the contents of this circular. He adds that 
it was exclusively the work of Marat, who wrote and 
signed it for all the others and who, when the latter 
ventured some remonstrances, calmly replied : ' Yes, 
I have signed it for all of you, and if there is ay — f- — 
that is not satisfied I will have him strung up to a 
lamp-post this evening.' " 

For the second, here is what Fabre de I'Aude says : 

" Billaud-Varennes, that monster who the 3rd of 
September mounted a pile of the dead bodies of vic- 
tims, thus harangued the murderers; 



" ' Brave men and good citizens, you are immolat- 
ing the enemies of" liberty; our grateful country will 
reward you for the sacrifices you are making for her; 
the Commune will recompense you in a manner pro- 
portionate to your services. No doubt the booty and 
the spoils of these wretches (the victims) belong to 
those who have delivered the owners into our hands; 
but you will take into consideration the scarcity of the 
funds of the Commune : whoever will have worked in a 
prison will receive a check for a louis payable at the 
bank. Good citizens, continue vour work and the 
country will revere you.' " 

As to Stanislas-Maillard, following is the document 
he wrote; it is without date, but the editor of the 
" Catalogue " assigns it to September 2nd or 3rd: 

"Gentlemen, the tribunal of the people is final; 
the head of the accused is desired ; if he is not guilty 
we will prove his innocence to the people; if he is 
guilty they have sworn his death, 

" On the part of the people, 

"Signed: Maillard." 

Thus is Panis absolved; but we give a document 
tending to prove that at least he was informed of the 
intention of the murderers. It consists of an autograph 
order signed and dated September 2, 1792: 

' ' The Concierge of the Abbaye will set free at once, 
in order to withhold him from the vengeance of the 
people, who in their fury might forget themselves, and 
who they say are at this moment approaching, Thuil- 
lier, etc., ... all the seven gendarmes of Paris," 



In his " Memoires " Senart boldly accuses Tallien 
of complicity, stating that the Secretary of the Com- 
mune signed with Panis and Sergent compromising 
documents, which were found at Maillard's after his 
death. He adds that this Maillard, " leader of the 
cut-throats of Paris, known under the name of Tappe- 
Durs," was a dangerous sharper, a tool wholly in their 

In a pamphlet on the real perpetrators of September 
2nd, Mehee de la Touche, who hides himself under 
the pseudonym of Felhemesi, affirms that, besides 
Marat, Panis, and Tallien, Billaud-Varennes must be 
included amongst those most guilty: 

" Let us render to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and 
to Billaud the things which are Billaud's. " 

He goes so far as to claim that the morning of the 
3rd Billaud-Varennes entered the council chamber of 
the Commune, holding amicably by the hand a mur- 
derer covered with blood whom he introduced as 
" a brave fellow who has worked well." But Mehee 
de la Touche, because of his various callings the na- 
ture of which he could not acknowledge, cannot be 
taken seriously; therefore we have cited him only as 
a matter of interest. We are fortunate to be able to 
offset the manifestoes of the Commune of Paris by the 
following document from the National Assembly : 

" Address from the National Assembly, September 
3, 1792, fourth year of Liberty and first of Equality. 



" Citizens: You are marching against the enemy; 
glory awaits you ; but beware perfidious suggestions. 
Your zeal is led astray ; you are robbed in advance 
of the fruit of your efforts, the price of your blood. 
You are being set at variance; hatred is being sown. 
There is an attempt to kindle civil war, to excite disorder 
in Paris. Your enemies flatter themselves that they 
will spread throughout the empire and throughout 
your armies; they flatter themselves that, invincible if 
you are united, you can by intestinal dissensions be 
delivered without defence to the foreign armies. 

" Citizens, there is no longer strength where there 
is no longer union ; there is neither liberty nor country 
where force takes the place of laws. 

" Citizens, in the name of country, humanity, liberty, 
be wary of men who arouse discord and provoke excess; 
listen to the voices of the representatives of the nation 
who were the first to swear Equality. Fight Austria 
and Prussia; within a few days the Convention will 
lay the foundations of public happiness. Work to 
make them secure by triumphs ; show by your example 
that the law should be respected. 

" The National Assembly decrees that the present 
address shall be at once published and posted ; that 
the municipality shall have it proclaimed to the sound 
of a trumpet, and that it shall be sent to every depart- 
ment and to the army. 

" Compared with the original by us, the President 
and the Secretaries of the National Assembly. 

" Paris, September 3, 1792, fourth year of Lib- 

"Signed: Herault, President; Marant, Secre- 
tary; G. RoMME, Secretary. 

" Paris: National Press.'* 



Furthermore, a reaction could not have been long in 
making itself felt, and on the 6th the Mayor of Paris 
addressed a letter to the National Assembly. It reads 
as follows : 

" Permit me," wrote Petion, " to draw a veil over 
the past to hide from your eyes the scenes which sad- 
den the soul ; let us hope that they may not be re- 
peated; let us hope that the harmony which is to exist 
among the authorities will guarantee the public tran- 

Not content with this, Petion, who desired order, 
wrote again September i8th, when the excitement was 
scarcely calmed, to exhort the inhabitants of Paris to 
put an end to the repeated disturbances which were 
disorganizing everything, driving peaceable citizens 
from the capital, and tending to prevent the National 
Convention from establishing itself there. " Let 
those," he continues, " who wish order come forward; 
let them have the courage to speak boldly; then this 
handful of agitators who are upsetting everything will 
be reduced to nothing." 

Following is the substance of a curious letter relating 
to the massacres and addressed, September 26, 1792, 
by Roland to the President of the Convention : 

"The bills presented to his predecessors for the 
expenses of the prison of L'Abbaye Saint Germain were 
inconsiderable ; but the one given him to-day by the 
Concierge of this house, from July 1st to September 



5th inclusive, reaches the sum of nineteen thousand 
and nineteen francs, and he does not think he should 
authorize the payment of so enormous a sum. He 
thinks he should wait for orders from the Convention, 
especially as the greater number of the prisoners named 
were taken to the Abbaye on simple warrants from the 

On the margin of this letter Camus, the Secretary 
of the Convention, had written : 

" Returned to the Committee of Six to show the con- 
dition of Paris." 

In this way Roland, by calling attention to the flagrant 
abuses, hoped to provoke charges against the Com- 
mune. But calm and indifference were not reestab- 
lished in spite of the exhortations of Petion, and it was 
not until three months later that the Convention dared 
at last to fix officially the blame for these crimes by 
ordering the prosecution of their authors. Finally the 
decree demanded by all honest men was promulgated. 
It was as broad as could be desired, and accorded to 
the Minister of Justice every latitude so that none of 
those guilty might escape : 

" Decree relative to the events of September the 
2nd and August the lOth, 1792. 

" The National Convention decrees as follows: 
" Article i. It is enjoined on the Minister of Justice 
to prosecute before the tribunals the authors, accom- 
plices, and instigators of the massacres and outrages 
committed during the first days of September. 



" 2. The Minister of Justice is also charged to pros- 
ecute those who, the night of the 9th and the day of 
the loth of August, had gathered together in the 
Chateau of the Tuileries armed against the people. 

" 3. The Minister of Justice is also charged to pros- 
ecute the public officers who left their posts to conspire 
in Paris with the tyrant and his accomplices. He will 
give an account of the progress of these various pro- 
ceedings during the eight days. 

" In the name of the Republic the Executive Pro- 
visory Council commands and orders all administrative 
bodies and tribunals to enter the present law on their 
registers; to read, publish, and post it, and to execute 
it in their departments and respective courts; in token 
of which we have hereto affixed our signature and 
the seal of the Republic. 

*' Paris, January 23rd, 1793, second year of the 
French Republic. 

" Signed: Garat, President of the Executive Pro- 
visory Council. 

" Countersigned: Garat ; and sealed with the seal 
of the Republic. 

" Certified as conforming to the original." 

The sane portion of the population began to breathe 
more freely, hoping that, thanks to this decree, the 
bandits of September would leave the capital. But 
this hope was not of long duration, for on the 8th Feb- 
ruary, 1793, the Convention retracted, recoiling before 
its self-imposed task, and issued a new decree suspend- 
ing the proceedings which were already begun. 



At the close of 1794 a violent reaction took place 
and from all sides was demanded the condemnation of 
those accused of the crimes of September. 

In support of this we give the address from the sec- 
tion of the Fraternity to that of the Unity to thank it 
for having denounced the criminals; for "it is neces- 
sary for the whole world to know that those days of 
mourning and of blood belong not to France but to a 
faction paid by the foreigner." 

' ' Address from the section of the Fraternity to that 
of the Unity, pronounced decadi 20 Frimaire, the third 
year of the French Republic, one, indivisible, and im- 
perishable, by Citizen Franconville : 

" Citizens, Brothers, and Friends: 

" In paying, as you did, last primidi the tribute of 
our gratitude to the National Convention for its glori- 
ous work, we were witnesses of your triumph; it was 
worthy of you, brave Republicans, to be the ^ rst to 
demand the denunciation of the criminals who took 
part in the massacres of the 2nd and 3rd of September, 

" In yielding to your demand the Convention has 
just proved that in its eyes nothing can excuse the 
crime of assassination, and that the voice of the 



public will not ask in vain the vengeance of the 
law on the heads of the cannibals who in their bloody 
rage immolated thousands of victims. 

' ' We swear to you in the name of the Section of the 
Fraternity that it shares your generous sentiments and 
that if it succeed in discovering the murderers it will 
follow your example. 

" We, like you, wish that the pages of history 
which record to posterity the massacres of the 2nd 
and 3rd of September may also record the punishment 
of the assassins; the honor of the French people de- 
mands this; the whole world must know that those 
days of mourning and of blood belong not to France 
but to a faction paid by the foreigner. 

" Incorruptible sentinels, ever ready to cry in unison 
^ui vive ! at rogues and assassins ; we shall no longer 
see flowing the precious blood of innocents; we shall 
no longer see our laurels mixed with cypress ; united 
by the same feelings, we will declare war upon the 
Terrorists and Scoundrels ; we shall reduce the shouters 
to silence; we shall establish between us an active 
correspondence; thus we shall unearth all the liberticidal 
plots. Unity^ Fraternity ^ and Liberty will triumph. 

" Long live the Republic! Long live the Conven- 
tion ! " 

We wish to rectify certain errors committed by Mon- 
sieur Mortimer-Ternaux in his excellent " Histoire de 
la Terreur. " 

According to him the trial of the September murderers 

began as soon as the decree of January 30, 1793, was 

issued, while the Convention, as we have already said, 

suspended proceedings the 8th of the following February. 

20 305 


He commits still another error when he speaks of only 
sixteen accused, for we give below a warrant of arrest 
from the Committee on General Safety of the Con- 
vention, signed by the Secretary Colombel, and dated 
Fructidor i6th, the third year, which mentions " seven- 
teen, and there will be still more." 

" According to information from the section of the 
Jardin des Plantes (formerly des S>zn5-C\x\ottes)^ seventeen 
citizens of that section, detained in the prison of Port- 
Libre, were sent to the criminal court in Paris as 
accused of having taken part in the massacre of 
September 2nd." 

In support of other proofs we will give some ex- 
tracts from a letter addressed to the Minister of Justice 
by one of the defenders; then the order for the arrest 
of one of the most guilty in connection with the death 
of the princess, which does not come up again until 
the fifth complementaire of the third year (Monday, 
2 1 St September, 1795). The accused, Gonnord, does 
not appear among the seventeen prisoners of Port- 
Libre. Furthermore, Monsieur de Vieil-Castel cites 
sixty-six prosecuted for that crime. 

" Extract from a letter from Pepin Degrouhette, 25 
Rue du Santier, one of the defenders of the accused, 
to the Citizen Minister of Justice: 

" The events of September were tolerated by the 
Government. They were inspired by the fanaticism of 
liberty and by the fear of falling under the blows of the 



royalists who were determined against national repre- 
sentation and the people, and who were allied with the 
Prussians and the Austrians then investing and invading 
our territory. 

" Should one after three years seek the authors of 
past events and thus give a cause of triumph to the 
enemies of the country ? " 

It concludes thus : 

" I beg you to remember, Citizen Minister, that in 
the month of February, 1793, when the Convention 
was still undivided, when no faction had made any 
attempt upon its integrity, it issued a decree forbidding 
prosecution to be made because of the deeds of the 2nd 
and 3rd of September, and that it ordered the discharge 
of all those under arrest because of those deeds. This 
law was never put into execution. Could it have been 
annulled by a decree issued during the mournful reac- 
tion which almost overthrew the Republic and caused 
the massacre of the legislators and all the Republi- 
cans ? ' ' 

Gonnord, whose name is not found on the list of 
the seventeen accused, since his arrest did not take 
place until September 21st, was denounced in May 
by two citizens, one of whom actually charged him 
with having taken part in the murder of Madame de 

" Copy of the reasons for the arrest of Gonnord, 
the 5th Prairial, the third year, by a decree of the 
section of Unity : 

' ' Citizen Burel of the School of Public Works, Rue 



Taranne, at the house of Citizen Maignien, institutor, 
states : That the said Gonnord, sub-lieutenant of the 
1 6th company of the army force, in speaking with him 

of subsistence said that he f- the government as 

much as a m , that those who were at the head of 

the government were f- scoundrels. He declared 

that on his observing to Gonnord that he did not think 
he spoke seriously, the latter replied : ' You do not 

know what I am; I amy^ for opening the body of 

a man and eating his heart.' It seems that these ex- 
pressions were repeated several times by Gonnord, who 
was still vociferating against the existing government. 
This document was signed. 

" The same day the said Citizen Maignien, insti- 
tutor, declares that he overheard Gonnord say that he 
had taken part in the massacres at La Force the 2nd 
and 3rd of September, and that with another he had led 
the woman Lamballe by the arm, without specifying 
this place. This statement was repeated several times 
and was signed. 

" (Conforms to the extract.) 
" Signed: Fa yard. Clerk of the Secretary. 
" (Conforms to the copy.) 


Citizen Maignien returns to his first declaration and 
now affirms that he considers Gonnord a brave man 
and that he knows nothing bad about him. 

This curious letter deserves a place here : 

" Literal copy of a letter written to Gonnord by 
Maignien, the 15th Fructidor, the third year: 

" Citizen, I repeat that if it is on my declaration 
that they have imprisoned you I am surprised, for that 



proves nothing. I thought that it would serve merely 
to make them inquire after you and that was all ; fur- 
thermore I am ready to give the most favorable tes- 
timony in regard to you. I should even like to have 
an opportunity to shorten your imprisonment; as a 
good citizen I have declared what I know about you ; 
as a good citizen I declare that I regard you as an honest 
man. I should not be one myself were I to say the 
contrary. Were I convinced of the contrary, and above 
all were I sure that you had taken part in any massacre 
whatsoever, I declare to you that I would never com- 
municate with you directly or indirectly ; but I have 
no such idea, for I recall that you never spoke to me 
of the affairs of September except with expressions of 
disapproval. This, so far as I am concerned, is what 
I have to say for you. I like to think that all the wit- 
nesses who may be called for you will be no less 
favorable ; I hope so. I tell you again not to spare 
me. I am angry enough that you have been so long 
imprisoned, even should it prove only temporary; you 
would have been more useful in a shop and justice 
would have lost nothing. 

" Greeting and fraternity, 

"Signed: Maignien. 
" This 15th Fructidor, in the year 3," 

On the address was written : ' ' To Citizen Go- 
norre at the Bourbe. " 

"This copy conforms to the original, which is in 
the hands of my wife. Gonord." 

This letter, which fear dictated, nevertheless suc- 
ceeded in obtaining Gonnord's release; for fresh in- 
formation concerning him derived from a reliable source 



necessitated a new inquiry, which a new and perfectly 
legitimate order of arrest was to close : 

" Extract from the Registry of the Clerk of the 
Prison of La Force, the fifth complementaire of the 
year III. of the Republic. 

" In virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Citizen 
Faure, Public Prosecutor in the Criminal Court of the 
Department of Paris. 

" To be confined in said prison Jean Pierre 
Gonord, aged thirty-eight, a native of Paris, a wheel- 
wright, living number 528 Rue Taranne, Faubourg 

' ' The said Gonord is accused of having taken part in 
the massacres of September 2 and 3, 1792 (old style). 

" The copy conforms to the registry in said prison, 

Paris, this 6th Vendemiaire, third year of the French 

Republic. < _ 

Signed: Lege, 

" Employe in the Registrar's Office." 

The verdict was not rendered until the 22nd Floreal, 
fourth year. 

The trial was very long, if we accept the version of 
Monsieur Mortimer-Ternaux. 

According to the same author only one man was 
condemned and, thanks to extenuating circumstances, 
merely to twenty years in chains. This was Raigne, 
called Nicolas, to whom, moreover, after his execrable 
work a certificate was given proving his perfect honesty. 

This civil warrant was taken by us in the city library 
from the copy of the Revolutionary Tribunal issued by 
Ledru-Rollin : 



" The 5th Pluviose, third year of the French Repub- 
lic one and indivisible. 

" Citizen Pierre Nicolas Raigne, called Nicolas, 
living number — , Rue des Pretres Paul, Maison du 
Boulanger, vv'hen asked to go to the committee named 
in execution of the law^ of the 13th Frimaire in order 
to give it information w^hich would satisfy the law, 
presented himself there and, besides aiding the com- 
missioners by his information, gave the following doc- 
ument : 

" ' Paris Commune, September 12, 1792, fourth 
year of Liberty and first of Equality. 

" ' We the undersigned municipal officers certify 
that the said Pierre Nicolas Raigne and Charles Nico- 
las Michel have been employed in the prison of La 
Force to transfer the corpses to places indicated, for 
which service they were paid at the rate of fifty sols a 
day J we certify moreover that they behaved in such 
a way as to leave no doubt of their honesty and loy- 
alty. Given in the Prison of La Force, September 
1 2th, fourth year of Liberty and first of Equality. 

" ' C. Jams, Municipal Officer; Dange, Munic- 
ipal Officer; Lesguillon, Municipal Commissary; 
Va, Clerk of the Committee.' 

" Seen and read in the General Assembly of the 
Section of the Arsenal, which has never believed in 
the evil accusations made against Citizen Pierre Nic- 
olas Reinier, whose patriotism it well knows. 

" This September 13, 1792, fourth year of Lib- 
erty and first of Equality. 

" CoNADiEU, President. 

" Hany, Assistant Secretary. 

"J. P. Le Dru, Felix, Collin, Petro Depero- 
RiAN, Vincent. 



*' Note. — This document was copied in toto from 
the Registry of the Committee number four, page 314, 
dated September 13, 1792. 

" (Copy conforms to the original presented and de- 
livered on aforesaid day, month, and year.)" 

He was not the only one sentenced, however, if we 
are to believe the " Decade Philosophique " : 

" As to the murderers of September several have been 
convicted, but a greater number have been acquitted. 
Only inferior and blind agents are detained, and although 
their crime may be atrocious, possibly their sentences 
will be lightened in favor of extenuating circumstances. 
However, none of those who took part in the massa- 
cres can return to society. They would excite horror; 
they would arouse a desire for vengeance, and hence 
would be driven again to crime." 

In spite of all these researches, others escaped pros- 
ecution at the time, and a general amnesty was promul- 
gated fourth Brumaire, year IV. (Monday, September 
26, 1795). A year later one of the butchers of the 
poor princess was condemned to death for murder. 

" Grizon, convicted of having been one of the 
murderers of Monsieur de I'Aunay, Governor of the 
Bastille, and for having cut off the head of Madame de 
Lamballe to please the Due d' Orleans, who was 
her next heir, has just been condemned to death 
at Troyes as leader of the brigands who robbed the 
Department of the Aube. Emery, one of his accom- 
plices, a native of Lyons, received the same sentence. 



The latter was the bearer of several letters from Couri- 
oilles, punished in Paris as assassin of the courier from 

This to our knowledge was the only justice done. 
Let us quote the lines of Lebrun apropos of the mas- 
sacres of September: 

Lines written September 3, 1792. 

" Thou, whom I adored, O, sad Fatherland ! 

Thy poet, in tears, turns sadly from thee. 

Indignant because of thy fair glory's brand. 

Perjured king and his murderous subjects I flee." 

Was it a question of banter, of derisive verses ? 

In vain have we read the patriotic ode of Lebrun; 
we have not found this passage there. 

As one must always seek a motive for a crime we 
wonder why the Princesse de Lamballe was one of the 
first victims of the Terror. 

Harmand (de la Meuse) claims to know the cause, 
and tells us that upon his entrance into office the Leg- 
islative Assembly had resolved to take charge of the 
education of the dauphin and to give him a tutor of 
his own choice. In the meantime the Constitutional 
Monarchists, in order to attach to the court the most 
influential and the most popular man of the time, had 
thought of Robespierre in this connection. 

According to the deputies of the Right everything 
depended on the way the matter was presented to the 
king; hence they sought a person of some influence 



and of well-established credit who might with some 
chance of success suggest the idea. 

They turned their eyes upon the Princesse de Lam- 
balle. The latter was incensed at such an overture 
and refused positively. But when they explained to 
her the value of the combination and the good which 
might result therefrom for the royal family, she con- 
sented to speak to the king. 

Louis XVI. stopped her at the first word, saying: 
" You are not thinking of such a thing, cousin! " 

But Madame de Lamballe it seems knew how to 
be eloquent, and induced the king to consent to the 
nomination of Robespierre under the following condi- 
tions, imposed by the Constitutionalists themselves : 

Robespierre was to be chosen tutor; he was not to 
fulfil the duties of the office but was to be contented 
with the title and was to draw the salary. On his 
part he engaged to establish a paper on the side of the 
monarchy, to speak in favor of the king at the club 
of the Jacobins, and finally to hand in his resignation 
as public prosecutor. 

The result of this arrangement was the founding of 
the " Defenseur de la Constitution" by Robespierre, 
who carried out his promise to the letter until the prin- 
cess informed him that the king could not keep his 
word in the face of the hostile attitude of the queen. 
At this unexpected news Robespierre realized that he 
must regain his popularity. Therefore he changed 
front, suppressed his paper, and fled August loth. 



Later he must have arrested the princess and organ- 
ized the massacres in order to destroy all evidences of 
his ambition. 

This opinion is somewhat confirmed by the Abbe 
Georgel," who claims that " if Robespierre had been 
elected tutor of the dauphin, a position with which he 
would have been modestly contented, perhaps there 
would not have occurred those scenes of horror of 
which we were the sad witnesses, although Robespierre 
might have edited the ' Defenseur de la Constitution,' 
a paper started to deceive the court by masking the 
projects of the faction." He adds that if in his hatred 
Robespierre did drive the royal family to the scaffold it 
was from " mortification at not having been elected." 

So according to him there was no nomination, while 
Harmand affirms that there was. But that is not the 
only error we wish to correct, for Robespierre did not 
start his paper until June ist, and Madame de Fleurieu 
was appointed governess of the dauphin April i8th. 

Following is another version of the causes of the 
death of Madame de Lamballe. We give it only as 
a matter of interest, without attaching more importance 
to it than to that of Harmand. 

" Secret Cause of the Death of the ci-devant 
Princesse Lamballe. — Terrible Anecdote 
ABOUT her Hand. 

" Every one knows that the ci-devant Princesse Lam- 
balle was one of the first victims of the execrable days 
of September; that after her death her bloody corpse was 



dragged through the streets, a target for the most hor- 
rible outrages ; but that which is not known is the in- 
visible hand that directed the blows of the butchers. 
The murder has generally been attributed to her suc- 
cessor, d' Orleans; motives of interest seem to justify 
this presumption, but positive information has come to 
us on this subject, leaving no further doubt as to the 
true cause of this tragic death. 

" Three members of the National Assembly, who 
lateral the Convention assumed the leading roles on this 
revolutionary theatre, some months previous to August 
the 1 0th, had coveted the places of the Ministers. 

R aspired to the position of Minister of Justice; 

P to that of Minister of the Interior; D to 

that of Minister of Finances. They knew that in 
order to succeed it was first of all necessary to obtain 
the consent of the queen ; their names alone were for 
her a reason for refusal and execration ; what should 
they do ? The Princesse Lamballe had great influence 
with Marie Antoinette; they resolved to make her an 
instrument for their ambition, 

" The three candidates took care to present them- 
selves. B , who was negotiating for the lOth of 

August, undertook to make the proposition. He 
showed the princess the advantage that Louis XVI. 
and the court would derive from the nomination of these 
men of the people; he dwelt particularly on the advan- 
tage of arresting all monarchical movement. ' Do not 
let their names frighten you,' said he; ' they are all the 
more fitted to serve in the cause of the king; their 
popularity is the surest safeguard of the monarchy ; 
Mirabeau at first undermined the foundations of the 
throne in order to make it all the stronger later.' 

' ' The Princesse Lamballe listened to his arguments, 



although she felt the same aversion for the solicitor as 
for the candidates; she promised to propose them to 
the queen. Scarcely had she suggested their names 
before Antoinette, turning on her a furious glance, 
exclaimed, ' Do you wish to give us for ministers our 
executioners, to introduce into the council of the king 
the authors of the massacres of the early days of Octo- 
ber ? Are they not trying to draw nearer to us in order 
to deal us surer and swifter blows ? ' The princess did 
not insist, but far from delivering the actual answer of 

the queen she said to B that the king had already 

made his choice and that on no condition whatever 
could he revoke it. The manner in which she ex- 
pressed herself seemed to indicate that she had managed 
the affair with some indifference. They took this 
refusal as the result of a lack of good-will on her part, 
and from that moment her death was determined on. 

' ' The name of this unfortunate woman headed the list 
of the massacred ; the murderers of September received 
their instructions from the triumvirate; these instruc- 
tions were carried out beyond the wildest hopes of their 
authors. The assassins of the forest contented them- 
selves with immolating and stripping their victims; 
those of La Force in the middle of the bloody streets 
disputed over pieces of flesh torn from the princess, 
which aroused in them at the same time feelings of 
cannibalism and something worse. How many times 
before her last breath did this princess die! In her 
everything that the sex holds most sacred was shown 
least respect, and a i&w days after the murderers still 
showed publicly in the inns bloody remains which 
modesty will not even allow us to mention. 

" It was not enough to have hacked the princess to 
pieces alive, to have divided her body among them, 



and to have dragged it by bits through streams of 
blood : the assassins had not yet offered a proof 
of their barbarity to those who were paying for the 
massacres. The triumvirs were gathered together with 
some other leaders in a house adjoining La Force. 
They were at supper; four of their agents arrived and 
placed on the table the right hand of the princess. 
They looked at it, passed it from one guest to another; 
they made about her fingers jokes as atrocious as they 

were lugubrious. R examined the token attentively 

and said with the coolness of scorn: ' It was pretty.' 

" These accounts, which we publish with hesitation, 
solely in the interests of history, were given us by two 
persons still living who, although they did not dip their 
hands in the blood, were nevertheless closely connected 
with these three men, one of whom has been feted 
as a martyr of the Terror. ' ' 

The memory of the good princess and of her worthy 
father-in-law was religiously preserved by their faithful 
servants; the anniversary of their death was celebrated 
by a mass even during the darkest days of the Revolu- 

We give in full the funeral oration pronounced in 
the Church of St. Paul at the beginning of these touch- 
ing ceremonies : 

" Funeral Oration delivered by Monsieur Sevray, 
who acted for the institutors of the religious ceremony 
held in memory of the unfortunate Princesse de Lam- 
balle in the Church of {sic) Rue Saint-Antoine near 
the Place de Bastille, and since held in the Church 
Saint Leu: 



" O cruel memories, let our hearts beat for one 
moment ! O days of misery and terror, days, alas, as 
deplorable as frightful, depart forever from our eyes ! 
From the midst of this lugubrious scene which recalls 
to us a sweet and well-loved face, rise sublime virtues 
which impose on us important duties. 

"O plaintive shade of the purest of mortals! 
Now that we are gathered together to celebrate her 
memory her sweet and gentle soul has returned to the 
bosom of the God of peace whence it came ; it is more 
affected by our tender regrets than by the horror imposed 
on it by those cannibals who usurped the name of men 
only to dishonor the race by the blackest and most 
cowardly of barbarities. Such is the horror they in- 
spire that we would not breathe the same air, would 
not live in the same place; and if a legislation imper- 
fect until now has withheld them from the just punish- 
ment that they deserve, the scorn which we forever feel 
for them will make of what is left of their lives an 
eternity of remorse and torment, limitless, endless. 

" O virtuous and worthy princess, were you still 
here among us you would compel us to suffer; and by 
this example you would teach us to respect and submit 
ourselves to the will of the strongest, as do your worthy 
relatives, rich heirs of the love which we bear you. 
But what am I saying ? Alas ! you exist only in our 
tender regrets and sad memories. 

" Sensitive Souls! deplore, and let us all deplore the 
fate of the unfortunate princess who, escaping for a few 
instants from my care, saw herself in the midst of a 
crowd; frightened and paralyzed with terror, deserted 
and pitiably abandoned, even by those who loved her, 
to the ferocity of scarcely a handful of wretched mur- 
derers, who in order to kill her subjected her to the 



cruellest and most dreadful torments — torments so 
dreadful that pencil and pen refuse to describe them 
and decency will not allow me to explain. 

" Nobles! and People! learn from this horrible illus- 
tration to what shameful excesses those who wickedly 
wish and aspire to act and govern themselves without 
sovereigns and without laws are capable of yielding. 

" O Almighty God! O God of kindness, divine 
Providence ! O Holy Trinity for all eternity ! Believ- 
ing fully in the immortality of the soul we humbly 
beg Thee to reward Louise de Savoye, the unfor- 
tunate princess, with the brilliant crown of the martyr, 
and to admit her into the shining company of the elect, 
where in her eternal resting-place she may sing forever 
to the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost. Amen. De Profundis. " 

The commemorative masses were continued during 
the revolutionary and imperial periods,^ but probably in 
secret, while from the time of the Restoration they 
became semi-official in character, for the " Moniteur " 
newspaper mentions them: 

" Acts of piety leave deep impressions on the heart. 
The service and the mass for the dead which a faithful 
servant of Monseigneur le Due de Penthievre had cel- 
ebrated during the Revolution on the anniversary of 
the death of this prince and of that of Madame la Prin- 
cesse de Lamballe attracted a large number of the faith- 
ful. From the Restoration these two pious ceremonies 
were much more largely attended under the auspices 
of the worthy successor to the name and the virtues 
of the Due de Penthievre. Her royal Highness the 



Duchesse-dowager d' Orleans went yesterday to the 
Church of Saint-Leu to attend the mass which was 
celebrated at noon for the repose of Madame de Lam- 
balle's soul. The high altar and the door of the 
church were draped in mourning and bore the coat- 
of-arms of the princess. In accordance with the wish 
of the founder only low mass was celebrated." 

The funeral services celebrated respectively the 4th 
of March and the 3rd of September were kept up 
until 1819. From the beginning of 1820 the " Mon- 
iteur " makes no further mention of them. 

Does this mean that the health of the Duchesse 
d' Orleans, who was soon to die, did not permit her to 
attend them ? 

The Restoration thought at one time of giving 
Paris a monument in memory of Madame de Lam- 
balle. A proposition to this effect was made at a 
meeting of the Chambre des Pairs, Saturday, January 
13, 1 8 16. The project was never carried out; and 
indeed no monument or effigy, were it from the chisel 
of the most skilful master, would have been able to 
withstand the political troubles. 

The poet Delille wrote the following epitaph for 
Madame de Lamballe : 

" Lamballe has succumbed, Lamballe whose great zeal 
For her queen, by dying, she strove to reveal. 
And her beautiful hair, her low graceful brow. 
Ah, Heaven ! in what a sad state are they now ! 
Shocked Nature cries out, and friendship so dear, 
Before those loved features recoils as in fear ! " 

21 321 

Madame de lamballe 

We will conclude this biography of our unfortunate 
princess by quoting from the work of Francis Girault — 
" Le pass'e^ le present et V avenir^ ou Predictions^ verifica- 
tions et explications de quclques prophetles remarquables de 
Michel Nostradamus. Paris: Hivert, Gaume, Dentu. 
Pamphlet in-8, 43 pp., 1839 " — a prediction ingen- 
iously dedicated to Madame de Lamballe : 

" Death of the Princess de Lamballe. Century II, 
Sixth, 55. 

" Sooner or later shall pass from earth 

A lady of high degree. 
Her spirit to God, her body to man, 

By many regretted shall be. 
All her relations shall mourn her loss, 
A younger woman shall bear the cross, 

And two others the 'misery." 

" The manner of death, the regrets of the Due de 
Penthievre and of all the Carignans, the tears of Ma- 
dame Royale, and the grief which the king and espe- 
cially Marie Antoinette felt in their hearts — do not all 
these facts clearly show that this referred to the beau- 
tiful and unfortunate Princesse de Lamballe ? " 

The prediction, although perhaps not containing 
every evidence which our author was pleased to attrib- 
ute to it, nevertheless deserves to be noticed because 
of its historical interest. 

It is for this reason that we have given it, adding in 
conclusion only one thing, namely, that the sad priv- 
ilege of those who suffer greatly, becauje of the impor- 



tant place they occupy in the great human drama, is 
to lend themselves admirably to sombre predictions 
and very often to realize them. Never, perhaps, has 
a more sinister prophecy from this point of view had 
a more gloomy fulfilment. 



Translator's Notes 


' ' ' Among those who came about me was the bridegroom him- 
self, whom I had never yet seen. So anxious was he to have his 
first acquaintance incognito that he set off from Paris the moment 
he was apprised of my arrival in France and presented himself as 
the prince's page. . . . What was my surprise when the Due 
de Penthievre presented me to the prince, and I found in him the 
page for whom I had already felt such an interest! . . . This 
was really love at first sight." — "Memoirs of the Princesse de 

" The King of Sardinia, as the head of the house of Savoy and 
Carignan, said there had been some conversation as to the Princesse 
de Carignan's becoming a member of his royal family ; but as she 
was very young at the time, many political reasons might have 
arisen to necessitate a change in the projected alliance. " If, 
therefore," said the King, "the Prince Carignan be anxious 
to settle his daughter's marriage by any immediate matrimonial 
alliance, I certainly shall not avail myself of any prior engage- 
ment nor oppose any obstacle in the way of its solemnization." — 
" Memoirs," p. 82. 


' Mesdames Mackau, de Soucie, the Comtesse de Noailles (not 
duchesse, as Mademoiselle Berlin calls her in her " Memoires") 
claimed that the Princesse de Lamballe was the most beautiful and 
accomplished princess at court, adorned with all the grace, virtue, 
and elegance of manner which so eminently distinguished her 
through life. Although she had no particularly shining talents, her 



understanding was sound and she seldom gave her opinion without 
mature reflection, and never without being called on, or when she 
distinctly foresaw the danger which must accrue from its being 

The Princesse de Lamballe was so uniformly eager in contributing 
to the peace of mind and happiness of every individual who sought 
her mediation that she was as well known by the appellation of ' ' the 
peace-maker " as she was by her title. 


' Afterwards Due d'Orleans and the celebrated revolutionary 
Philip Egalite. His son, the grandson of the Due de Penthi^vre, 
was afterwards Louis Philippe. 

In her diary and letters the Princesse de Lamballe dates her 
misery and grief from the marriage of her beloved sister-in-law 
Mademoiselle de Penthi^vre to the Due de Chartres. In revenge 
for his unrequited passion for the princess, the latter enticed away 
her young husband, who soon became the prey of every dissipation 
and debauchery. 

The Due de Chartres was never a favorite of the queen. He 
was tolerated only on account of his wife, and because of the great 
intimacy which existed between him and the Comte d'Artois. 
Louis XVI. had often expressed his disapprobation of the duke's 
character, which his conduct daily justified. 

"The infamous and recreant Duke of Orleans'"; and, again, 
"Philippe, Duke of Orleans, born in 1745, was one of the most 
infamous personages of the Revolution. This prince combined in 
himself all that was most depraved and bad in the old noblesse, and 
all that was most odious in the ambitious mob leaders." — See Mor- 
ris, pp. 24-25, 35. 

" ' ' The Due de Chartres then possessed a very handsome person and 
most insinuating address." — " Memoirs of Madame de Lamballe." 

' The queen had been attached to the Princesse de Lamballe long 
before the sledge parties took place. But see Madame de Campan, 
vol. i., p. 129. 

* " In her (Marie Antoinette's) happier days of power, the great 
Gluck was brought, at her request, from Germany to Paris. He 



cost nothing to the public treasury, for her Majesty paid all his ex- 
penses out of her own purse. . . . She heard all his pieces, 
at Gluck's. request, before they were submitted to the stage." — 
" Memoirs," p. no. 


' The Prince de Lamballe was the son of the Comte de Toulouse, 
himself a natural son of Louis XIV. and Madame de Montespan, 
who was considered the most wealthy of all the natural children in 
consequence of Madame de Montespan's having artfully entrapped 
the famous Mademoiselle de Montpensier to make over her im- 
mense fortune to him as her heir after her death, as the price of 
liberating her husband from imprisonment in the Bastille, and her- 
self from a ruinous prosecution for having contracted this marriage 
contrary to the express commands of her royal cousin, Louis XIV. 
— Vide " Histoire de Louis XIV.,'' par Voltaire. 

' The deposed court oracle, the Comtesse de Noailles, had been 
succeeded as literary leader by the Comtesse Diana Polignac. She 
was a favorite of the Comte d'Artois, and was the first lady in 
attendance upon the comtesse his wife. The Comtesse de Poli- 
gnac had a much better education and considerably more natural 
capacity than her sister-in-law the duchess, and the queen dis- 
liked her merely for her prudish affectation. The Comtesse 
d'Artois grew jealous of the count's intimacy with the Comtesse 
Diana. . . . But making a merit of necessity she submitted 
at length to retaining the comtesse, who remained in the family up 
to the 17th of October, 1789, when she left Versailles in company 
with the Polignacs and the d'Artois, who all emigrated together 
from France to Italy, and lived at Stria, on the Brenta, near Venice, 
for some time, till the Comtesse d'Artois went to Turin. 

' The Duchesse de Chartres had complained to her father, the 
Due de Penthi^vre, in the presence of the Princesse de Lamballe, 
of the very great ascendency Madame de Genlis exercised over her 
husband, and had even requested the queen to use her influence in 
detaching the duke from this connection. It was generally under- 
stood that the duke had, by Madame de Genlis, a daughter who 
later was married to the late Irish Lord Robert Fitzgerald. 

* An obsolete office was revived in favor of the Princesse de 



Lamballe. In the time of Maria Leckzinska, wife of Louis XV., 
the office of superintendent, then held by Mademoiselle de Cler- 
mont, was suppressed when its holder died. The office gave a 
control over the inclinations of queens by which Maria Leckzinska 
was sometimes inconvenienced ; and it had lain dormant ever since. 
Its restoration by one who it was believed could be guided by no 
motive but the desire to seek pretexts for showing undue favor, 
was eyed askance, and before long openly calumniated. 


' At this time Comte de Mercy was Austrian Ambassador to the 
court of France. For Mercy, see "Marie Antoinette," by D'Arneth 
and GeoSroy, ii. 223. 

' Tutor, secretary, confessor, and unfortunately in many respects 
the ambitious guide of Marie Antoinette. 

Louis XVI. had no prepossession in favor of the Abbe Ver- 
mond, and merely tolerated him in order not to wound the feelings 
of the queen. Marie Antoinette was conscious of this, and is said 
to have frequently stated the fact that she did not remember the 
king's ever having held any communication with the abbe during 
the whole time he was attached to the service, though the abbe 
always expressed himself with the greatest respect towards the king. 

Neckar's opinion of Vermond was that he was quite as obnox- 
ious to the people as the Duchesse de Polignac ever had been. 

Vermond enjoyed much influence with regard to ecclesiastical 
preferments. He was too fond of his situation ever to contradict 
or thwart her majesty in any of her plans ; too much a courtier to 
assail her ears with the language of truth ; and by far too much a 
clergyman to interest himself but for mother church. In short, he 
was more culpable in not doing his duty than in the mischief he 
occasioned ; for he certainly of tener misled the queen by his silence 
than by his advice. 

'One of the popular objections to the revival of the office of 
superintendent in favor of the Princesse de Lamballe arose from 
its reputed extravagance. This was groundless. The etiquette of 
dress, and the requisite increase of every other expense, from the 
augmentation of every article of the necessaries as well as the 



luxuries of life, made a treble difference between the expenditure 
of the circumscribed court of Maria Leckzinska and that of Louis 
XVI. ; yet the Princesse de Lamballe received no more salary 
than had been allotted to Mademoiselle de Clermont half a century 
before. And even that salary she never appropriated to any pri- 
vate use of her own, being amply supplied through the generous 
bounty of her father-in-law the Due de Penthi^vre. — " Memoirs of 
Madame de Lamballe." 

* The laughable title of Madame Etiquette which the dauphiness 
gave Madame de Noailles clung to her through life ; and though 
conferred only in merriment, it was never forgiven. 

' There was an eccentricity in the appearance, dress, and man- 
ners of the Prince de Conti which well deserves recording. 


* The queen's favorite brother. It was he who on leaving Italy 
and coming to Paris interested himself in causing Louis XVI. to 
settle the differences then subsisting between the court of Naples 
and that of Spain ; and it was his opinion which some time after- 
wards influenced the Queen of France to refuse the offer of the 
Queen of Naples to affiance her daughter, the Duchesse d'An- 
gouleme, to the son of the Queen of Naples, and to propose as more 
eligible a marriage which after the Revolution took place between 
the house of Orleans and that of Naples. 

It was said that the French treasury, which was not overflowing, 
was still more reduced by the queen's partiality for her brother ; 
but the finances of Joseph were at that time too superior to those 
of France to admit of such extravagance or even to render it 

For further account of Joseph see Madame Campan. 

'Comte d'Artois, afterwards Charles X., one of the first to desert 
the king and the royal family. 

' The splendid fetes, balls, and entertainments indiscriminately 
lavished by all ranks throughout the kingdom on this occasion 
augmented those of the queen and the court to a pitch of magnifi- 
cence surpassing the most luxurious and voluptuous times of the 
great and brilliant Louis XIV. 



The following verses on this occasion written by Metastasio are 
of interest: 

" lo pudei: I'augusta figlia 
A pagar, m'a condemnato 
Ma s'6 ver che a voi somiglia 
Tutto il mondo ha quadagnato." 

* Baron de Besenval, one of the seconds at the well-known duel 
between the Comte d'Artois and the Due de Bourbon. 


'Venerable is a title of the Master in French lodges, equivalent 
to Worshipful in English and American lodges. 

Venerable Brother, a title given to each officer of the Grand 

' The Masons of Europe are much more addicted to the use of 
this method of contracting masonic writing than American Masons. 
The abbreviations among our foreign brethren are usually dis- 
tinguished by the use of three periods, placed in the form of a 
triangle — thus .". or thus •.•, as the writer may prefer. This 
peculiar form of contraction was first introduced by the Grand 
Orient of France in 1774. 

'Among them were the Duchesse de Bourbon, the Empress 
Josephine, Lady Montague, Duchess Elizabeth Chesterfield, and 
the Empress Eugenie. 

* Adoptive Masonry was a name given to certain degrees resem- 
bling masonry and masonic in spirit which have at times been in- 
vented for ladies who have claims upon the Order of Freemasonry 
through relatives who are members of it. 

Adoptive Masonry first made its appearance in France in the 
early part of the eighteenth century, and there is still a legal and 
regular branch of the institution in that country. 

The Adoptive Lodges were at first rapidly diffused throughout 
all the countries of Europe except the British Empire. 

' Ecossais-e (French), Scotch. A term applied to the Ancient and 
Accepted Rite, and the name of the fifth degree of the French sys- 
tem. — "General History of Freemasonry," by Robert McCoy, 33°. 



Ecossais — a French word usually translated Scottish Master or 
Mistress, and first introduced by the Chevalier Ramsay, whose 
theory was that Freemasonry originally came from Scotland in the 
general form it is now practised. For further reference see " The 
Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia," edited by Kenneth R. H. MacKen- 
zie, ix". 


' Palace of La Muette, situated in the Bois de Boulogne, very 
near Paris. 

" To this intimacy of the queen with the governess of her children 
may be referred the first direct blows at the royal dignity. 

'On the death of Louis XV. the entire court had gone to La 

* The Duchesse de Gramont was one of the confidential friends 
of Louis XV. before he took Du Barry under his especial protec- 
tion. She was noted for her independence and dignity. 

'The Duchesse de Guemenee having been obliged to leave her 
residence at Versailles in consequence of the duke's dismissal from 
the king's service on account of the disordered state of his pecuniary 
circumstances, the situation of governess to the royal children be- 
came necessarily vacant and was immediately transferred to the 
Duchesse de Polignac. 

* " At this time their majesties were adored. Marie Antoinette, 
with all her beauty and amiableness, was a mere cipher in the eyes 
of France previous to her becoming the mother of an heir to the 
crown ; but her popularity now arose to a pitch of unequalled en- 
thusiasm." — " Memoirs." 


' The Due du Nord was afterwards the Emperor Paul. It was 
during the visit of himself and his wife at court that the Cardinal 
de Rohan again appeared on the scene. 


' Due de Normandie, afterwards the dauphin. 




" In her ' ' Memoires," tome ii. , Madame de Campan says the neck- 
lace was intended for Du Barry. The exact date of its manufacture, 
however, is not known. Du Barry went into " half pay" May lo, 
1774, the day her king died. 

"Abbe Georgel, who has given a long solemn narrative of the 
necklace business, passes for the grand authority on it, but neither 
will he, strictly taken up, abide scrutiny. He is vague, writing in 
what is called the ' soaped pig ' fashion. There are hardly above 
three dates in his whole narrative. He mistakes several times; 
perhaps . . . misrepresents a little." — Carlyle. 

' Bette d'Etienville's description of De Rohan is as follows : A 
handsome man of fifty, with high complexion, hair white-gray and 
the front of the head bald; of high stature, carriage noble and easy, 
though burdened with a certain degree of corpulency. (First 
" Memoire pour.") " On May 31, 1786, sentence was pronounced; 
about ten at night the Cardinal escaped from the Bastille; large 
mobs cheered him, angered at the court." See Georgel. See also 
" Memoires," note, p. 166 et seq.; also Marquis de Valfous, " Me- 
moires," 60; De Levis, 156; and Madame d'Oberkirk, i. 127, 
and ii. 360. 

' See "Vie de Jeanne, Comtesse de Lamotte " (by herself), vol. i. ; 
also four ' ' Memoires pour " by her in this ' ' Affaire du Collier " — Car- 
lyle says, "like lawyers' tongues turned inside out." Afterwards 
one volume, "Memoires justificatifs de la Comtesse de," etc. 
(London, 1788), with appendix of "Documents" so-called and 
misdated as to day of month. Also two volumes, " Vie de Jeanne," 
etc., printed in London, by way of extorting money from Paris. 
The latter was bought up by French persons in authority. It was 
the burning of this editio princeps in the Sevres Potteries, May 30, 
1792, which raised such a smoke that the Legislative Assembly took 
alarm and had an investigation about it, etc., till the truth came 
out. Copies of the book were speedily reprinted after August loth. 

Compare Rohan's four "Memoires pour" in the "Affaire du 
Collier " with Lamotte's four. 

See also Georgel, who dates the affair in 1785; also Comte de 
Lamotte's narrative in the " Memoires justificatifs." 



In regard to the accounts of above by Madame Campan, Carlyle 
says: " Madame Campan, in her ' Memoires,' generally, does not 
seem to intend IsXsthood. She rather, perhaps, intends the producing 
of an impression, which may have appeared to herself to be the right 
one. But, at all events, she has ... no notion of historical rigor; 
she gives hardly any date, or the like ; will tell the same thing, in 
different places, different ways, etc. There is a tradition that Louis 
XVIII. revised her ' Memoires ' before publication. She requires 
to be read with scepticism everywhere, but yields something in that 
way." — From Carlyle's " Diamond Necklace." 

* See Lamotte's MS. songs in the " Affaire du Collier," etc. 
Carlyle says : " Nothing can exceed the brutality of these things; 

which nevertheless found believers — increase of believers in the 
public exasperation, and did the queen incalculable damage.'' 

' " The princess, though disappointed in some of her main objects 
with regard to influence and information, became so great a favorite 
at the British court that she obtained full permission of the king 
and queen of England to signify to her royal mistress and friend 
that the specific request she came to make would be complied with. 
She visited Bath, Windsor, Brighton, and many other parts of Eng- 
land, and managed so judiciously that the real object of her visit 
was never suspected." — " Memoires," p. 280. 

" Baron de Breteuil, a sworn enemy of the Cardinal de Rohan. 

' Lomenie de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse and Sens, born 
1727, died 1794. As minister of Louis XVI. he exiled the Parlia- 
ment of Paris to Troyes in 1787, and compelled it to register edicts 
of the king which it had opposed. 

Marie Antoinette persisted in upholding every act of Brienne 
till his ignorance and unpardonable blunders drew down the gen- 
eral indignation of the people against her Majesty and her protege, 
with whom she was identified. 

" The monarchy was seldom guilty of acts more arbitrary, violent, 
and iniquitous than those sanctioned by Brienne." — Morris, " French 

* Abbey of Fontevrault. In this connection it will be of interest 
to the reader to consult " Architectural Studies in France," new 
edition, revised by Edward Bell. 




* " The French Revolution may date its epoch as far back as the 
taking of the Bastille." — " Memoires." 

'For journey from Versailles to Paris, see Campan, vol. ii. 313 ; 
also Bertrand de Molleville. 


' " Le Gazette de France " was the first French newspaper. It 
was published in 1631 by Theophraste Renaudot. It appeared 
once a week, contained the news and gossip, and was very popular. 

' For card-playing, see " Memoires," p. 143. 


^ Only the children of the king and the heir-apparent were called 
" Enfants de France." It was for centuries later the rule that only 
the Enfants de France might ride or drive into the Louvre, Palais, 
Hotel St. Paul, Tournelies, or any royal palace. Princes of the 
blood must get down at the door, nobles in the street. See De 

' The Due d'Orleans was the first to abandon the royal family. 

' Barnave was conspicuous among the reformers of the National 

See Morris, p. 56. Also " Memoires," pp. 221, 228, 283, 302. 

* " Ci-devant " means former. It was a term constantly used by 
Republicans during the first revolution in France, in regard to a 
noble attached to the former regime by his position. 


' For this " favorite pastime,'" which was hunting, see " Journal de 
Louis XVI.," published by Nicolardot. Also De Luynes, ix. 75, 7g, 



los ; Madame Campan, i. 147; Taine's " Ancien Regime''; Due 
de Lauzun, " Memoires," 51 ; and Madame de Genlis, " Memoires," 
chapter xiii. 

' For Versailles, see Chateaubriand, " Memoires," i. 221. 

'An eye-witness of many stirring scenes. Her husband was the 
bravest of the royalist generals whom he commanded in La 
Vendee, 1793-94. 


' A false and artful popularity seeker. 
See Morris ; also " Memoires," p. 375. 

* See Burke's " Reflections on the Revolution in France, ''which 
remain the best and most profound commentary on the work of the 
National Assembly. 

See also Professor Von Sybel's " History," book ii., chap. iv. 

For life and conduct of the royal family at this crisis, see " Let- 
ters of Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette.'' 

' It may be of interest to note that the word tocsin in the seven- 
teenth century was spelt tocquesin, notably by Menage, and is com- 
pounded of two words — toque (act of striking) and sin (a bell). 

* This was a, desperate step, and equivalent, under the circum- 
stances, to an abdication of the throne. 

See " Souvenirs de la Terreur," by George Duval, quoted by M. 
Feuillet de Couches, vol. vi., p. 285. 

See also M. Mortimer Terneaux's " Histoire de la Terreur." 

' The royal family were placed in a small box or chamber called 
the logographe. 

° So called from the club which was held in the convent by the 
Feuillants, a branch of the Order of St. Bernard. The club was 
set up to counteract the power of the Jacobins. 

' So at another critical moment on the arrival of the delegates at 
Varennes, Louis seemed, it is said, " to have been most anxious 
about finishing his morning meal." — Morris. 

And again, " the chief of the illustrious race of Bourbon, in sight 
of the falling throne of his sires, ate, it is said, with seeming con- 
tent, a dish of peaches ! " — Morris. 




' Billaud Varennes was afterwards prosecuted and sent beyond 
the seas. 

° The so-called mock judges at the tribunal were Thibaudeau, 
Hebert, Simonier, etc. 

^ For graphic description of Lamballe's execution, see p. 380 et 
seq. of " Memoires.'' 

" The Due de Penthievre set every engine in operation to save 
his beloved daughter-in-law." He promised Manuel half his for- 
tune if the princess could be rescued ; and this might have been 
accomplished had it not been for a misunderstanding in the matter 
of orders. 

See also M. Thiers' "Histoire de la Revolution Fran9aise,'' vol. 
ii., p. 335, edit. 1842. 

* Santerre, "who so cruelly ordered the drums to beat, to hasten 
the execution and prevent the dying king's last words from being 
heard." — " Memoirs," p. 393. 

Santerre was originally a brewer in the Faubourg Saint Antoine, 
at Paris. He first made himself conspicuous in the revolt of the 
famous 14th July, 1789, which ended in the taking of the Bastille. 
In 1793 he was given command of some battalions sent against La 
Vendee, but showed himself a worthless general. He was routed 
by the Royalists before the walls of Coron. He was reported 
to have been killed, and the following epitaph was composed for 
him at Paris: 

" Ci git le general Santerre, 
Qui n'eut de Mars que la Hire" 

a pun on the word Mire, which means both bier and beer, and San- 
terre, as we have said, was originally a brewer. Bihre de Mars was 
a very light beer brewed in early spring. 


* Paper money, the emission of which was decreed on the 1st of 
April, 1790, and annulled February 19, 1796. The creation of these 



assignats was the cause of fearful disasters to the commerce, indus- 
try, and credit of the nation. 

* For Comte de Fersan, see pp. 148, 212, 217, 290 of the " Me- 

' In the matter of the journey to Varennes, had the Ising been 
guided by the Comte de Fersan he would have succeeded. 

It is at Varennes that Madame Campan places the beginning of 
Barnave's sentiments in favor of the royal family. Other historians 
differ on this point. 

For Varennes, see also Morris's " French Revolution '' and Wat- 
son's " France." 


' " A most assiduous, ever-wakeful Abbe." — Carlyle. 

" The factotum, principal agent, and secretary of the Cardinal de 
Rohan." And again : " To the Abbe Georgel may be attributed 
all the artful intrigues of Rohan's disgraceful diplomacy." 

See also Madame Campan: "The Abbe Georgel in his ' Memoires' 
justifies the conduct of his superior with great ability ; and it was 
very politic in him to do so, because he thereby exonerates himself 
from the imputation he would naturally incur from having been a. 
known party, if not a principal, in all which has dishonored the 

' " It was reported that Napoleon when he became Emperor of 
France, respecting the virtues of this illustrious sufferer, ordered in 
commemoration of this event the funeral rites to be performed 
in the parish where she had been butchered, on the 3d day of every 
September. Her birthday would have been on the 8th of the same 
month;" — " Memoires.''